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Charles DwIgM Wlllard. 

Drcbmbbi. 1901. 
v-B>anBB A Nbuhbi Co.. Pububhbi 
Lob Ahcblsi, Cal. 



December, 1901. 


• • • 

• • 


1 Sons of the Soil 9 

n The Edge of the Spanish Empire IS 

in ViaCnicis 2S 

IT How Governor For tola came to Los 

Angeles 38 

V The Banner of the Virgin 48 

VI The Pueblo Plan 57 

VII How Governor De Neve came to Lob 

Angeles 66 

Vni ThcEostcrof 1781 76 

IX The Mission System 87 

X Eighteenth Century Loi Angeles 97 

XI In the Spanish Province 106 

Xn Exit Spain 116 

Xin The Pueblo Begins to Grow 126 

XIV The Epoch of Revolutions 136 

XV The Ruin of the Missions 146 

XVI The Foreigner Arrives 1S7 

XVII Local Events of Meiican Rule 168 

XVIII The Pastoral Age in California 179 

XIX The Stars and Stripes 190 

XX The Americans Enter Los Angeles 201 

XXI The Last Revolution in Los Angeles 212 

XXII Los Angeles Regained 223 

XXIII The Pueblo is made American 235 

XXIV California Enters the Union 246 

XXV The City Takes Shape 257 

XXVI The Beginning of Things 268 


XXVn Ivos Angeles at its Worst 279 

XXVIII Between Old and New 289 

XXIX In War Times 299 

XXX The Coming of the Railway 310 

XXXI The Epoch of the Boom 322 

XXXII The Reorganization 333 

XXXin The Modern City 344 

Index 355 


The career of a citj contaias as mnch good mate- 
rial, out of which an entertaining' historj maj be con- 
structed, as does the life of an individnat, or the de- 
velopment of a nation ; but, for some reason, it haa 
come to paas in America that the preparation of city, 
or " local", history has usually fallen into the hands 
of schemers who exploit the " prominent" citiMn for 
his tnography, and throw in something of a narrative, 
merely as an apology for the book's existence. The 
Tolnme thus produced is a huge unwieldy affair, that 
circulates only among the hundred or two victims, and 
is not read even by them, except as to the pages where 
each one finds the story of his life act forth in a flam- 
boyant and patronising style. It not infrequently 
happens that in the history portion of these monstros- 
ities there will be found evidence of careful, conscien- 
tious work on the part of the (usually anonymous) 
writer, but it is buried under such a mass of rubbish, 
and the volume itself enjoys such a limited circula- 
tion, that the judicious reader grieves to see such good 
labor wasted. 

The experience of Los Angeles in the matter of 
local history has been no different from that of other 
American municipalities. Of these biographical 
albums there has been no lack ; they have come in 
cycles of every seven years. Two of these have been 
— as far as the history portion is concerned — consider- 
ably above the average standard. That of Thompson 
& West, written by J. Albert Wilson, and appearing 
in 1880, gave subsequent students cause of gratitude 
for the amount of valuable material gathered together 
and preserved. One published by the Chapman Com- 
pany in 1900 contains a history written by that con- 
scientious and devoted searcher in the local field, J. 
M. Guinn, Secretary of the Los Angeles Historical 
Society. Mr. Goinn's portion of the volume is an 


admirable piece of work, but the 780 pages of biog- 
raphy that accompany it contribute to the document a 
weight of ten pounds — ^and very little else. 

The present book is an attempt to supply in conven- 
ient and portable shape the material facts in the 
history of lyos Angeles city. It contains nothing in 
the form of paid or biographical matter (strange that 
such a statement should be needed I), and it is offered 
for sale at the bookshops on its merits as a book. The 
writer lays no claim to any great amount of original 
research, his work being chiefly that of collecting, 
arranging and presenting in logical order the estab- 
lished facts. As the volume employs only 80,000 
words to cover a period of nearly a century and a half » 
there is not much opportunity for detail work. It is, 
however, carefully indexed. 

The work was undertaken by the writer partly on 
the suggestion of Mr. R. H. Chapman of the Los 
Angeles Herald, and it was published during the 
months from July to December (1901) in the Sunday 
magazine of that excellent journal. It is for that 
reason called the Herald's History of Los Angeles. 

The writer desires to express his thanks to the fol- 
lowing : Miss Anna B. Picher of Pasadena, who read 
the manuscript, and assisted in collecting the pictures, 
and whose advice and suggestions were of great value; 
Homer P. Earle of the Stanford Faculty, who also 
read the manuscript ; Mrs. J. D. Hooker, whose beauti- 
ful collection of Mission photographs (never before 
published) were placed at the author's service ; Miss 
Jones, librarian, and Miss Beckley, her assistant ; 
Harry E. Brook, W. S. Hogaboom, Miss Bertha H. 
Smith, J. M. Guinn, D. O. Anderson, G. G. Johnson, 
C. C. Pierce, and Putnam & Valentine. 



B^^B HE original name of Los Angeles was 
ITjlH Yang-na, and its population consisted 
H^^^ of about 300 human creatures 
■■JBI barely above the animal plane. They 
were called Indians, a general term 
bestowed by the discoverers of this continent 
upon all aborigines, although those in Los .An- 
geles bore no more resemblance to the brave 
and intellectual Iroquois and Tuscaroras than 
the Turk does to his fellow-European in Lon- 
don. They were undersized and squat in stat- 
ure, of a dingy brown color, with small eyes, 
flat noses, high cheek bones and large mouths. 
The general cast of their features was Asiatic 
rather than Indian, and although the trivial 
character of their institutions, and the meager- 
ness of their language makes it quite impos- 
sible to classify them ethnologically, it is evi- 
dent that they are more nearly related to the 
Alaskan and Aleutian tribes that crossed from 
Asia when the northern rim of the continent 
was yet unbroken by the sea. than to the dis- 
tinctively American Indian of the eastern 
coast and the interior valleys. 

The center of Yang-na was somewhere 
about the corner of Commercial and Alameda 
streets and it straggled south as far as First 

10 /'•V' History of Los Angeles. 

• • •_ 


sjtr^et, and north to some point near Aliso. 
.''•Canfornia Indian villages had a habit of creep- 
.*••* ing about, due to a peculiar, but, on the whole, 
'•••commendable practice of their residents. The 
huts were small, insubstantial affairs, con 
structed of light poles, bound together and in- 
terlaced with twigs and tules. The dwellings 
of the more fastidious were sometimes rough- 
ly plastered with mud. Now when one of 
these habitations was completely overrun 
with parasitical insects of all sorts the house- 
holder would order his wife to fill the place 
with dry leaves and branches, and, having 
himself secured a torch from the vanquech, or 
temple, where the embers smouldered contin- 
ually, but where women were not admitted, 
he would then set fire to the house and cre- 
mate its many-legged inhabitants. A new 
dwelling was presently erected in the vicin- 
ity of the old one; sometimes it was built on 
the same spot, as soon as the ashes were 

There were from 25 to 30 of these Indian 
villages scattered about Los Angeles county, 
the largest being at San Pedro or Wilmington, 
which was said to contain 500 people. Prob- 
ably 4000 of the aborigines were to be found in 
the district bounded by the mountains, the 
sea, and the San Gabriel river, this being one 
of the most thickly settled portions of the 
state. Each village was a tribe in itself, pos- 
sessing its own chief, its specific manners and 

Simt oj the Soil. 11 

customs, and, in many cases, its own individ- 
ual language. There were not many of tFe 
missionaries that took pains to study the In- 
dian tongue, but one who did so declared that 
there were seventeen absolutely distinct lan- 
guages in Aha California, besides several hun- 
dred different dialects, some of the latter be- 
ing, in effect, separate languages. A few hun- 
dred words comprised the whole of their vo- 
cabulary, and their talk seemed to the Span- 
iards to be made up of gruntings and slob- 

The people of Yang-na were probably on 
friendly terms with the people of the neigh- 
boring villages — at Pasadena, San Gabriel, 
Cahuenga and Clearwater, They were too 
timid and too indolent to fight unless the occa- 
sion was urgent. When some foreign tribe or 
combination of tribes undertook to enter and 
seize their lands, they would fight like rats in 
a trap, for to leave their homes meant death. 
They had bows and arrows that were well 
made, and their marksmanship seemed to the 
Spaniards extraordinary, but it was probably 
no better than that of most savages. There 
were sometimes bitter feuds between adjoin- 
ing tribes that lasted for many generations, 
but actual conflict seems to have been rare, a 
peculiar ceremonial of cursing and extrava- 
gant threats being substituted, as less danger- 
ous and perhaps quite as gratifying. Captured 
enemies after a real battle were put to death 
with dreadful tortures. 

12 History of Los Angeles. 

Chieftainship was hereditary, and carried 
with it the power to practice polygamy, which, 
considering the extremely fragile nature of 
the marriage vow, must have been of little ad- 
vantage, even from the savage point of view, 
except that it gave the chief more household 
drudges, and allowed him to maintain a higher 
degree of dignity. The older men of the vil- 
lage were the chiefs counselors, and met with 
him in the temple to discuss questions of 
state, which latter consisted, for the most part, 
in setting the date for the next general rabbit 
hunt, and arranging for the initiation of some 
newly grown-up youth into the tribe. Decis- 
ion on many of these matters was likely to be 
left to the sorcerers, who formed a distinct 
aristocratic class, quite as powerful as the 
chief himself, and passed down their crude and 
disgusting rites from one generation to an- 
other. These were the spiritual guides and 
physical guardians of the tribe, and it is diffi- 
cult to say which was the worse, their religion 
or their therapeutics. The primeval curse of 
the savage lies not so much in his poverty as 
in his superstition — in the unfortunate perver- 
sions pf his vacant mind. 

The head of their scheme of religious be- 
lief was a demi-god named Chinigchinich, 
from whom the order of priests or sorcerers 
was descended. Most of the legends connect- 
ed with this being have been transmitted to 
us through the memoranda left by Padre Ger- 

Some/ the Soil. 13 

onimo Boscana, who lived at San Juan Capis- 
trano during the first quarter of the nineteenth 

century, but the later historic criticism has de- 
cided that either the good father drew some- 
what on his imagination, or else he was im- 
posed upon by the Indians from whom he se- 
cured his alleged facts. The close resemblance 
of the cosmogony which he outlines to that of 
the ancient Greeks does not occur in any other 
savage religion, and the delicate strain of 
transcendentalism that runs through the leg- 
ends, as the padre presents them, is entirely 
out of keeping with the known limitations on 
the Indians' intellect. The practical worship 
of this divinity consisted of dances and slow 
rhythmical junipings about the sacred place or 
vanquech. The sick were treated with lugu- 
brious incantations, to which were added some 
simple remedies. Rheumatism was treated 
with blisters made by nettles. Inflammation 
was met by blood-letting and the fever patient 
received a huge holus of wild tobacco. The 
sweathouse was applied for lumbago, and also 
as a general tonic, and to get rid of vermin. 

The male inhabitants of Yang-na went en- 
tirely naked, when the weather was warm, 
and even on the coldest days of the year the 
only garment likely to be worn was a cloak of 
badly-tanned rabbit skins. The women were 
partially covered, and were not without some 
sense of modesty. Paint was liberally used on 
the bodies of both sexes. As the houses were 

14 History of Los Angeles. 

not built to withstand the wind and rain, these 
people must have suffered to some extent from 
inclement weather, although not as severely 
as the savages in less favored climates. Mor- 
tality among them bore a close approximation 
to the birth rate, and the population of Yang- 
na varied little in number from year to year, 
or, for that matter, from century to century. 
The check on increase lay, however, not so 
much in death from disease as in prospective 
famine, which always operates as a natural de- 
terrent on births among savage peoples. It 
must be remembered that this region is by no 
means luxuriant in its natural state. It does 
not teem with animal and vegetable life as the 
tropics do. Its rainfall is uncertain, and its 
soil not extraordinarily rich. The California 
Indian sowed nothing and cultivated nothing. 
If, through the graciousness of nature, he was 
nevertheless permitted to reap, he had not 
even the judgment carefully to bestow what 
he gathered, but after gorging himself to re- 
pletion, he allowed the remainder to go to 
waste. He found various edible seeds, among 
them wild barley. He soaked and baked the 
roots of the flag. Acorns he dried and ground 
to powder, and filtered out the bitter by allow- 
ing water to trickle through. This served him 
as a kind of flour, but when the Spaniards tried 
it, in some of their starving times, it made 
them very ill. The Indians killed deer, coy- 
otes, squirrels and snakes for food, and they 

&?ni of the Soil. IS' 

caught fish. The flesh was eaten raw, or near- 
ly so. Grasshoppers and even grubworms 
were devoured in dry years. 

The Indian man looked upon himself as 
a hunter and warrior ; any other occupation 
than these— unless he was a sorcerer and prac- 
ticed medicine — he regarded as beneath his 
dignity. At rare intervals he would go with 
the tribe on a short expedition in search of 
seeds and acorns, but that was rather in the 
nature of a civic function, and was preliminary 
to a special feast. The daily round of food 
was supposed to be provided by the women, 
who went on long marches over the fields and 
through the woods, laboriously hunting where 
others had already gleaned before them. She 
ground the acorns in a stone mortar, and rolled 
the seeds on a metate. She built the fire, 
cooked the cakes, and then went to summon 
her husband, who was drowsing in the warm 
sunshine, or playing "takersia" in the level 
plain near the village. 

The games and amusements were restrict- 
ed to the men, although women participated in 
some of the semi-religious dances. The favor- 
ite pastime, which is named above, was played 
in a space about 30 feet square. One man 
rolled a ring about three inches in diameter 
across the course, and another, his opponent in 
the sport, undertook to throw a wand five feet 
long through it. as it rolled. If he succeeded 
in doing so, without stopping the ring, he was 
given one point. Three points constituted the 

16 History of Los Angeles. 

game. Another favorite pursuit was to knock 
a small, hard, wooden ball several hundred 
yards with a stick that had a knob at the end, 
which would seem to provide the modern game 
of golf with an ancient though none too credit- 
able origin. It is said the players grew so ex- 
cited at times over this pursuit that they 
would even stake their wives on the achieve- 
ment of a good score, which, considering the 
special utility of the creatures, would indicate 
a remarkable degree of enthusiasm for the 

The people of Yang-na had no form of 
writing nor hieroglyphics. Their artifects are 
of limited variety and simple construction, and 
are all of the stone age. One of the finest col- 
lections of these ever gathered may be seen 
in the west gallery of the Chamber of Com- 
merce in Los Angeles. It is the work of Dr. 
F. M. Palmer, and was obtained, for the most 
part, in the Channel islands, where the natives 
were more energetic and ingenious than on 
the mainland. A careful examination of these 
six large cases of artifects, which were gath- 
ered and arranged with the trained judgment 
of the ethnologist, while it recalls the extreme 
simplicity of the life led by our predecessors, 
at the same time impresses us with astonish- 
ment at their patience and skill in working so 
difficult a substance as stone. 

Dirty, ignorant and degraded as the Cali- 
fornia Indian was, there are still some things 
to be said in his favor. His first behavior to- 

SoMt of tlu Soil. 17 

ward his white visitor was that of the kindly 
host, offering him such food and shelter as he 
had at his command. This seems to have 
been done not through fear, but in good humor 
and admiration. Christianized Indians testi-< 
fied afterwards that when they first saw the 
Spaniards they believed them to be gods. A 
rude shock to this idea came when they be- 
held the strangers wantonly killing the birds, 
for these poor savages argued that no power 
which could create life would wish thus to de- 
stroy it. Only when driven to extremity by re- 
peated outrage did the Indian attack the sol- 
diery, and the padres traveled about among 
them without fear. 

It is interesting to consider to what extent 
the condition of these people — degraded even 
below the average of their kind — was due to 
climatic environment. The California Indian 
did not build a warm wigwam, because few 
days in the year were inclement ; and he did 
not cultivate the soil, nor store away grain, be- 
cause there was no season, like the eastern 
winter, when nature entirely deserted him. 
His immediate successor, the Spaniard, fol- 
lowed the same easy and dreamful life, 
withstanding the many centuries of civiliza- 
tion that had been placed to his credit; and i1 
yet remains to be seen what effect the eternal 
spring softness of this climate wilt have on 
the life and character of the Anglo-Saxon, 
when it comes to the test of successive genera- 



BHEN the fact for which Columbus 
had contended — that the earth was 
a globe — became finally established 
in men's minds, and navigators from 
all the leading European nations 
were out on the ocean, discovering and claim- 
ing strange lands, his holiness the pope, the 
senior power of Christendom and the represen- 
tative of Peace on Earth, endeavored to settle 
all disputes over the titles to new territory by 
dividing the world with a great meridian circle 
drawn one hundred leagues west of the Azores. 
All the globe west of the line was to belong to 
Spain, and all the globe east of it was to go to 
Portugal. This arrangement, which had at 
least the advantage of extreme simplicity, was 
somewhat disturbed by the English, Dutch and 
French, who took possession of the Eastern 
portion of the North American continent, and 
of a few islands here and there; but the pious 
and adventurous Spaniards certainly did their 
best toward carrying out the pope's program. 
During the sixteenth century they overran 
nearly all of South America, and the islands of 
the Mexican gulf; and on the northern conti- 
nent they set up a stable government in Mex- 
ico, and by exploration and to some extent by 

7^ Edge of the Spanish Empire. 19 

actual occupation they secured control of about 
two-thirds of the present area of the United 
States. Whatever may have been the mistakes 
and the misfortunes of that country since those 
days, Spain is entitled to rank in history as the 
discoverer and the conqueror of the new west- 
ern world. 

The history of California begins in the his- 
tory of Mexico, for, of all the explorers that 
visited the state prior to its colonization, only 
one, Sir Francis Drake, came from European 
waters; the others came up from Mexico. And 
the settlement of the country, which was finally 
undertaken with the authority of Spain, was ac- 
complished through Mexico, of which country 
California, upper and lower together, consti- 
tuted a province. 

Hernando Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, 
landed at Vera Cruz in 1519, and within a few 
years had established a government that was 
felt from the isthmus to the Rio Grande. In 
1524 he describes California in a report to the 
king of Spain, as an island of great wealth, 
abounding in pearls and precious gems. It is 
inhabited, he says, by women only. The origin 
of this strange idea undoubtedly lay in the ro- 
mance, "Las Sergas de Esplandian,' which was 
published in Spain about 1510, and which seems 
to have enjoyed a run of popular favor, much as 
a successful novel might in these days. It is 
purely a work of fiction, and the writer de- 
scribes his imaginary island which is called 
California, as located somewhere to the right of 

20 History of Los Angeles, 

India. This island, the story says, is entirely 
peopled with black women, having a queen 
named Califia. They use no metal but gold. 
Copies of this work undoubtedly found their 
way across the Atlantic, and formed, at last, 
the basis of one of those persistent rumors of 
wealth that floated about the ears of the Span- 
iards, and led them on into the wilderness. In 
the case of California, the story of gold hap- 
pened to be true, but it was not for the Span- 
iards to profit by it. 

Up to the year 1862, the origin of the name 
California was the basis of a great deal of 
learned discussion. Many explanations were 
offered and imaginary etymologies were sup- 
plied for the word. It remained for Edward 
Everett Hale, the author of "The Man Without 
a Country," to set all doubts at rest, and trace 
the name to its veritable source in the romance, 
"Las Sergas." 

In 1534 Cortes sent an expedition in search 
of the gold of this wonderful island. The ves- 
sels were skirting the mainland, along the gulf 
of Lower California, when a mutiny broke out. 
A part of the company seized one of the ships, 
and, crossing to the peninsula, landed at a point 
about ninety miles north of Cape San Lucas, 
where afterwards a Spanish settlement was lo- 
cated and named La Paz. The leader in this 
aflfair was Fortuno Ximenes, who is entitled to 
be recorded as the discoverer of Lower Cali- 
fornia. A year later Cortes came up the gulf 
himself, and, landing at La Paz, formally took 

The Edge of the Spanish Empire. 21 

possession of the country. Four years later, in 
'S39> he sent Ulioa with orders to sail around 
the island, as it was supposed to be, and to dis- 
cover, if possible, the passage, back to Atlantic 
waters. Just as the Engiish, French and Dutch 
navigators, working along our eastern coast, 
were constantly on the lookout for the fabled 
"Northwest Passage," which would give them 
a shorter way across to India, so the Spaniards 
on the Pacific coast made their way into every 
bay and river mouth, hoping always to discover 
the "Straits of Anian," which were recorded on 
all the charts of the time as crossing this con- 
tinent somewhere to the north of the limit of 

Ulloa did not find the desired passage, but 
he came to the head of the gulf, and explored 
the pearl fisheries, which, for over two hundred 
years afterwards, enriched the Spanish court 
favorites to whom they were granted as mo- 
nopolies. He came back to Cape San Lucas, 
and worked north on the western coast to the 
middle of the peninsula. 

In the year that Cortes returned to Spain, 
1540, the viceroy, Mendoza. sent two vessels 
under Alarcon to the head of the gulf, and they 
managed to sail some distance up the Colorado 
river. It is not improbable that Alarcon came 
near enough to California to catch a glimpse of 
the country, and he is regarded by some writ- 
ers as the discoverer of the state. 

A great expedition had been planned by 
Mendoza and Alvarado to go up the Colorado 

22 History of Los Angeles. 

in search of the treasure which was supposed 
to exist somewhere in the interior, but the re- 
turn of some of the people who had explored 
this region dissipated the viceroy's hopes in 
that direction. He had the fleet that had been 
prepared for this scheme still on his hands, and 
more to keep it busy than for any definite pur- 
pose, he sent Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a navi- 
gator whose bravery had been tested in many 
shipwrecks and battles on the Spanish Main, 
with instructions to sail up the California coast 
as far north as practicable, keeping always a 
sharp lookout for the "Straits of Anian." He 
had two boats, the San Salvador and the Vic- 
toria, short, top-heavy affairs, on which no 
modern sailor would risk his life. With these 
he set sail from Navidad, on the western coast 
of Mexico, June 27, 1542, just fifty years after 
the discovery of America. 

Cabrillo is the Christopher Columbus of 
California. When he passed Cedros island, 
which is about the middle of the peninsula, he 
entered upon a stretch of waters as full of 
strange and terrible possibilities as those that 
lay before the intrepid Genoese when he went 
forth into the broad Atlantic with his three 
little boats. For all that Cabrillo knew the sea 
on which he sailed might presently terminate 
in a huge sink or maelstrom, and the shores 
where he was expected to land and make ex- 
plorations might be peopled with hideous mon- 
sters. The utter commonplaceness of the events 
of his voyage makes it seem a small achieve- 

The Edge of the Spaniih Empire. 23 

merit now, but we may be permitted, neverthe- 
less, to pause and admire his courage, as he 
ventures out into the unknown. 

In the month of September he entered the 
bay of San Diego, and the soil of California 
bore for the first time the impress of a Euro- 
pean foot. The record does not inform us who 
led the way ashore, but it reqiiircs no great 
strain on the imagination to suppose that it was 
Cabrillo himself. 

The Indians at San Diego were friendly, ex- 
cept that their suspicions seem to have been 
excited by the attempt to land a hunting party 
at night, when they fired on the boal and 
wounded two sailors. At no place in his many 
landings along the coast does Cabrillo seem to 
have had much trouble with the natives. After 
a short stay at San Diego, he sailed north to 
San Pedro bay, which he named the Bay of 
Smokes, from the great clouds of smoke that 
hovered over the mainland ; the Indians of Wil- 
mington were evidently engaged in one of their 
great rabbit hunts, in which they burned off the 
dry grass, to drive in the game. Here he landed 
to obtain water, and he probably climbed the 
hills back of where San Pedro now stands, that 
he might obtain a view of the country inland. 
If he did so, he was able on a clear day to see 
the site of Los Angeles. This was over 350 
years ago, and more than two centuries were 
destined to pass before the white men should 
come down into this valley. 

24 History of Los Angeles, 

Winter was now at hand, and with it came 
storms and head winds. He visited the islands 
of the channel, and on one of them met with a 
fall that broke his arm. The trip further north 
was made under hard conditions; and after 
working up the coast as far as San Francisco, 
though he did not enter the bay, he returned to 
the island of San Miguel, opposite Santa Bar- 
bara, where the explorer finally died from the 
unsuccessful surgery practiced on his broken 
arm. He was buried m the shifting sand of the 
harbor afterwards called Cuyler's, in San Mi- 
guel, and if any sign was left to mark his grave 
it has long since disappeared. 

With his latest breath Cabrillo urged his 
chief lieutenant, the pilot Ferrelo, to continue 
the exploration to the north. His wish was 
respected, and the San Salvador and Victoria 
under their new commander went up the coast 
a second time, but as they passed Cape Mendo- 
cino they were driven back by storms. Ferrelo 
then returned to Mexico and made his report to 
the viceroy. This was in 1543. 

In 1579 Francis Drake sailed along the coast 
of California in the famous Golden Hind, then 
two years out from Plymouth, England. 

He had been overhauling the Spanish gal- 
leons in the West Indies and on the Mexican 
coast, and had taken so much treasure — so his 
chaplain says — that he used the silver to ballast 
his ship. His fleet of five having been re- 
duced to one, he had no desire to meet with 

The Edge of the Spanish Empire. 25 

any of the Spanish men-of-war that might be 
prowling about in Atlantic waters, so he was 
making his way westward around the globe. 

He anchored in the bay north of San Fran- 
cisco, now called by his name, evidently failing 
to recognize in the Golden Gate the entrance to 
a great harbor. As his ship drew only 13 feet, 
the upper bay would answer to his description 
of "a fit and convenient harborouph." Here he 
remained 36 days, finding the Indians friendly 
and the climate pleasant. He named the coun- 
try New Albion, and claimed it for his queen. 
Several of the "gentlemen adventurers" of Eng- 
land visited Lower California, following in the 
wake of the Golden Hind, but they accom- 
plished nothing beyond a few successful rob- 
beries, and the claims set up by Drake were 
allowed to lapse. 

It is not impossible that the visit of Drake 
and the other Englishmen to this coast may 
have stimulated Philip II of Spain to plan to 
tighten his hold on the Californias. In 1596, 
the viceroy, acting under direct instructions 
from the monarch, sent Sebastian Viscaino 
with three ships to go on with the work that 
Cabrillo had so bravely begun, more than fifty 
years before. He sailed from Acapulco to La 
Paz, where he became involved in difficulties 
with the Indians that caused him to abandon 
the expedition. The nature and cause of these 
difficulties is indicated by the fact that when 
he started again, this time with two vessels in 

26 History of Los Angeles, 

the year 1602, he ordered the death penalty for 
any soldier that should cause a disturbance 
among the Indians. 

His journey was in a considerable degree a 
replica of that of Cabrillo. ^ Like the former 
explorer, he met with stormy weather, and was 
finally turned back when he had worked his 
way a little north of Cape Mendocino. He ex- 
plored the port of Monterey, but placed it on 
his chart too far north by two degrees. He 
changed the names of the islands of the chan- 
nel, from those bestowed by Cabrillo to the 
ones they now bear, even robbing his prede- 
cessor of the poor honor that lay in the title 
Rodriguez (Cabrillo's middle name) on his is- 
land grave. 

Viscaino transmitted to the king an account 
of his visit to California, in which he declared 
that the country was rich and fertile and admir- 
ably adapted to colonization, and he urged that 
he be allowed to undertake an expedition for its 
permanent settlement. The king hesitated to 
grant the required powers, but finally did so, 
in 1606. Before the plan could be carried out, 
however, Viscaino died, and it was abandoned. 

Now follows a period of one hundred and 
sixty years, during which no more white men 
came to California. In that time the thirteen 
colonies were planted on the Atlantic coast, 
waxed strong and were preparing to revolt 
from the mother country. England passed 
through the revolutions that cost Charles his 

The Edge of the Spanish Empire, 27 

head and James his throne. Germany endured 
the horrid struggle of the thirty-years' war, 
and witnessed the rise to power of Frederick 
the Great. France was sinking lower and lower 
under the rapacious and imbecile line of Bour- 
bon, and Spain, once the ruler of the seas, was 
priest-governed and impoverished. There was 
no more wealth to be wrung from the new 
world — therefore it was neglected and almost 



BHILIP II of Spain, whose rule ex- 
tended through 40 years of the period 
of most active exploration and ac- 
quisition in the western hemisphere, 
received from the pope the significant 
title of "His Most Catholic Majesty" ; and all 
his successors on the throne down to the pres- 
ent have cherished this phrase as part of their 
official name. It must be admitted that the 
title has not been misplaced, for no country on 
the globe has been more rigidly faithful to the 
church of Rome than Spain. It was the origi- 
nator of the inquisition; in Spain the church 
was the largest owner of property, and the 
priesthood outnumbered all other professions 
and intelligent occupations combined. It was 
natural, therefore, that the colonial system of 
this country should be permeated with the re- 
ligious idea, and that a large part of the work 
of organizing the new territory should be 
turned over to the hierarchy. 

This work possessed lively attraction for 
the young and ardent members of the priest- 
hood, because the new country was peopled 
with heathen, whose souls seemed to be crying 
out for salvation. The order of the Jesuits, 
founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1540, threw it- 

f^i« Crmcii. 29 

self with boundless enthusiasm into the new 
missionary fields, and no corner of the earth 
was too remote, and no tribe of savages too 
fierce for the Jesuit to enter, bearing the stand- 
ard of the cross. The conquering soldier came 
first, it is true, but his act of "taking posses- 
sion" was little more than a formality. The 
real work of colonization, of controlhng and 
organizing the Indians and of producing at 
least a semblance of civilized order, fell to the 

The Californias, upper and lower, were at 
the extreme northwestern edge of the great 
Spanish empire, and the tide of colonization, 
which flowed slowly across the new world, 
reached them last of all. In the first period of 
conquest great quantities of wealth were 
drawn from the western continents, and poured 
into the lap of Spain, and with this increase of 
fortune came an undermining of the moral, and 
finally of the material, forces of the country. 
The energetic and progressive artisan class, 
from which colonists for a new country would 
naturally come, had died out in Spain. 

One viceroy after another was sent out 
from the mother country to govern the prov- 
ince of Mexico, and at times a "visitador gen- 
eral" was delegated to make a tour of the terri- 
tory, and transmit a special report to the king, 
A long line of mediocre monarchs were occu- 
pying the throne. Efforts at colonization by 
the government were fitful. The Spanish sol- 
diers intermarried with the native women of 

30 History of Los Angeles. 

Mexico, and the halfbreeds, or mestizos, in- 
creased in number. Gradually paganism died 
out, and the spiritual rule of the church was 

A few colonies had been established by the 
government in Lower California, but they 
were too far from the base of supply to con- 
tinue successfully. Only those established by 
the church, where the natives were controlled 
by religious awe, as well as physical force, 
managed to survive. It was discovered that 
the Jesuits were most successful in establish- 
ing permanent locations among the Indians, 
and in the last years of the seventeenth century 
the whole of the territory of Lower California 
was turned over to them to manage as they 
saw fit. It was not a very promising piece of 
country — dry and sterile, and peopled with a 
race of savages quite as degraded as those fur- 
ther north on the Pacific coast. By this time 
the Spanish government had become impov- 
erished, and could afford no funds for the un- 
dertaking. In the decree of February 5, 1697, 
whereby the plan of the Jesuits for coloniza- 
tion was adopted, it was agreed that the royal 
treasury was not to be called upon to meet any 
of the expense. This led to the establishment 
of the famous "Pious Fund," which, within the 
memory of the present generation, formed the 
basis of some remarkable international litiga- 

The leaders in the movement were two 
priests named Kino and Salvatierra. They 

t/ia Cnuis. 31 

went about Spain enthusiastically describing 
this beautiful land, where thousands of heathen 
waited to be led into the church. Contribu- 
tions to the fund began to flow in, the first one 
being $10,000 from the congregation of a 
church where Salvatierra had preached, and 
the second, $20,000, from an individual Span- 
iard. A wealthy nobleman and his wife made 
wills, leaving their entire fortune to the fund, 
and others followed their example. The money 
was well invested, and only the income was 
used — after the expense of establishment was 
defrayed. It was not long before some of the 
missions began to be self-supporting. 

Salvatierra and Kino confined theh- work to 
Lower California, where they founded a com- 
plete system of missions, numbering finally 
sixteen in all. One of their fellow-laborers, the 
Padre Ugarte, seems to have possessed a ver- 
itable genius for what might be called the 
worldly portion of the work, teaching the In- 
dians all the trades — even to that of ship-bufld- 
ing — and accomplishing marvelous results with 
pitifully poor material. By the middle of the 
eighteenth century the scheme of organization 
had run its course to practical completion ; that 
is, the Indians of the peninsula were largely 
under the control of the missions; a full com- 
plement of buildings, both for religious and 
temporal purposes had been erected at each lo- 
cation, and the church was pre-eminent 
over the whole system of government. There 
were a few rebellions, but on the whole the 

32 Histoty of Los Angeles. 

Indians were tractable, and were a few steps 
nearer civilization. 

These matters have a direct bearing on the 
history of Alta California in two ways : First, 
in the fact that the "Pious Fund" raised by the 
Jesuits was used to defray the expenses of the 
work in Alta California, and, second, in the 
fact that the Franciscans, when they came to 
found missions in this state, had immediately 
before them, as a model, the institutions al- 
ready existing in the lower peninsula. 

About this time the feeling against the Jesu- 
its, which had been slowly spreading through- 
out Christendom, culminated in their expulsion 
from several Catholic countries, as they had 
already been driven out of Protestant states. 
In 175? Carlos III, the ablest of all the kings 
of Spain, came to the throne. During his reign 
of twenty-nine years that country made the 
first genuine progress it had accomplished 
since the days of Ferdinand and Isabella. He 
gathered about him wise advisers, and among 
these were several that believed the govern- 
ment to be too much under the influence of the 
priests. The Jesuit played the same part in the 
religious system that the party boss does in our 
politics, and the wave of reform reached him 
first of all. In 1767 an order was promulgated 
expellmg the Jesuits from Spain and all her 
colonies. All temporalities held in their name 
were ordered to be seized for the crown. How- 
ever justifiable this decree may have been with 
reference to the Jesuits of the mother country, 

r»c a%eis. 33 

il was certainly a harsh and cruel act as applied 
to the padres who had labored faithfully for 
over half a century on the arid soil of L-ower 
California, and who, as they left the missions, 
where they had grown old in the service, were 
followed by crowds of weeping Indians. 

The American religious outposts were to be 
placed in the hands of the two orders that were, 
next to the Jesuits, most active in missionary 
work — the Franciscans and Dominicans. It 
was at first proposed that the Lower California 
missions should be divided equally between the 
two orders, but later— at the suggestion of 
Father Junipero Serra — it was decided that, to 
avoid all possibility of friction, the Dominicans 
should be placed in charge of the Lower Cali- 
fornia institutions, while the Fransicans 
should be allowed the honor of beginning the 
work in the new territory. 

The order of St, Francis was one of the old- 
est and most popular of the many priestly fra- 
ternities. It was founded in 1209 by an Italian 
monk, a preacher of extraordinary fervency 
and persuasiveness, who was subsequently can- 
onized as St. Francis of Assisi. Its adherents 
were sworn to poverty and extreme simplicity 
of life. The dress was originally a coarse gray 
serge robe, tied with a hempen rope. later on 
some portions of the order changed from gray 
to brown. The foundation principles were hu- 
mility, voluntary mendicancy and abhorrence 
of controversy. The members desired to be 
known as peacemakers, and their influence was 

34 History of Los AngeUs. 

generally for harmony and for the existing or- 
der in temporal affairs. In this respect they 
differed materially from the Jesuits, who, as we 
have seen, had achieved an unenviable reputa- 
tion in Europe for intrigue and mischief-mak- 

The Franciscan order grew with great ra- 
pidity from its founding, and by the end of the 
thirteenth century had over 200,000 members. 
At the time the order was placed in charge of 
Aha California it had over 8000 colleges and 
convents scattered about the world. Their 
headquarters on this continent lay at the col- 
lege of San Fernando, in the City of Mexico. 
Here a great majority of the padres that were 
sent to California for service in the missions 
received their education, and to this institution 
were referred all difficulties and all matters of 
serious importance regarding the missions. 

Junipero Serra has appropriately been 
called the "Eighteenth Century St. Francis." 
There is little doubt that had his career fallen 
five hundred years earlier his supreme devotion 
of purpose and his heroic efforts to advance the 
cause of the church which have been rewarded 
by canonization. He was born in the island of 
Majorca in 1713. His parents were laboring 
people, but he was given an education that fit- 
ted him for the priesthood ; and because of his 
exceptional abilities a professorship of theology 
was bestowed upon him. From his early boy- 
hood he had yearned to undertake the career 
of a missionary; and when, in 1749, word came 

from the College of San Fernando that recruits 
were wanted to work among the savages and 
half-breeds of Mexico he enthusiastically vol- 
unteered for the service. His friend Palou ac- 
companied him, and the two were fellow-work- 
ers and intimates through all the California 

When Serra's ship arrived at Vera Cruz 
there were no pack animals to convey the re- 
cruits to the City of Mexico, so he set out on 
foot, unwilling, in his fiery zeal, to wait for 
proper means of conveyance. During this trip 
overland he contracted an ulcer in his leg that 
tormented him through the remainder of his 
life, but which he endured with the fortitude 
of a martyr. During the first nine years after 
his advent to Mexico he served at the lonely 
mission of Sierra Gordo, where he gathered a 
large congregation, and where he built a splen- 
did church structure. Without doubt, his ex- 
perience with the Indians at this place, both in 
spiritual and in worldly affairs, was of great 
service to him in his subsequent labors in Cali- 

The priests of the college of San Fernando 
noted the success that Brother Junipero had 
achieved at Sierra Gordo, and determined to 
try him in a new field. He was summoned to 
the City of Mexico and put over a congregation 
which was made up not of untutored Indians, 
but of the wealthiest and most refined people of 
the district. Crowds flocked to hear him, and 

36 History of Los Angeles, 

his zealous preaching is said to have brought 
many to repentance. 

In 1768, when the order to expel the Jesuits 
from the missions of Mexico was carried 
into effect, Junipero Serra was appointed presi- 
dent of the California district. This included 
Upper and Lower California, although as yet 
no establishment had been located north of the 

Whether it was the report on the expulsion 
of the Jesuits from this region, or the news 
that the Russians were working down the Pa- 
cific coast from the north that aroused the king, 
or whether it was merely the outgrowth of his 
natural energy and desire to promote the wel- 
fare of his country, is not known, but about 
this time Carlos III issued instructions to Mar- 
guez de Croix, the viceroy of Mexico, and to 
Jose de Galvez, the visitador general, or inspec- 
tor, to undertake the colonization of Upper 
California, the government to act in conjunc- 
tion with the priestly orders. Galvez, who was 
entrusted with powers second only to those of 
the king himself, went over to Loreto in Lower 
California, to direct the expeditions to the new 
country, and Father Junipero Serra repaired to 
the same spot. They were both men of tireless 
energy, and both possessed the same consis- 
tency of purpose; therefore they worked well 
together. They had at their disposal three ves- 
sels, the San Carlos, the San Antonio and the 
San Jose, all appropriately named for the pious 

fin Crucis. 37 

work they were about to undertake. There 
were available, besides the ships, a couple of 
hundred soldiers, a score of artisans and a few 
priests. Supplies were to be obtained from the 
missions in Lower California. It was decided 
that there should be four expeditions — two by 
land and two by sea — each independent of the 
ethers, and that all should meet at the port 
described by Cabrillo and Viscaino, which we 
know now as San Diego. These preparations 
were made near the close of the year 1766, 



HE unpleasant task of expelling the 
Jesuits from the chain of missions they 
had established in Lower California 
was committed to Capt. Caspar de Por- 
tola, who landed at Cape San Lucas 
with a small detachment of soldiers 
in October of 1767, to begin the work. 
He was made governor of both the Cal- 
ifornias, and in the expedition that was 
presently begun for the occupation of 
the northern territory, he represented both the 
military and the civil features of the govern- 
ment, subject, of course, to the orders of the 
visitador general, Jose de Galvez. 

Portola was a good-hearted and popular 
man, not without considerable natural shrewd- 
ness, and he performed his duty toward the 
Jesuits with gentleness and sympathy. There 
was no resistance on their part, and no out- 
breaks among the Indians. The treasure, 
which it was supposed the padres had laid 
away, failed to come to light, and Portola re- 
ported to Galvez that it was quite impossible 
that the simple agricultural pursuits of the 
missions should have yielded any great wealth. 
Nevertheless, he assured Serra that these es- 

How Governor Portola Came to Los Angeles. 39 

tablishments were fairly well stocked with cat- 
tle and provisions, and that enough could 
easily be spared to supply the expedition to 
the north. Serra himself, in the year 1768, 
made a tour through the missions of the penin- 
sula, of which he was now president, and in- 
spected their stock of ecclesiastical parapher- 
nalia, on which he proceeded to levy for the 
new institutions that he was planning to found. 

Captain Rivera y Moncada, who subse- 
quently filled an important function in the 
founding of the pueblo of Los Angeles, was 
appointed chief of the commissary department 
of the expedition, and was sent out to make a 
round of the missions, for the purpose of col- 
lecting cattle and stores, and was ordered to 
work toward the north, that he might be ready 
early in 1769 for the general movement into 
new territory. He had been the local com- 
mander for several years at Loreto, and was 
well posted on the geography and the climatic 
conditions of the country. He was therefore 
a most valuable man in the work, all the other 
leaders being strange to the region. 

The headquarters of the undertaking were 
at La Paz and Loreto. Here through the last 
six months of 1768, Galvez, Serra and Portola 
toiled and planned, until by the first of the fol- 
lowing year everything was ready. In Janu- 
ary of 1769 — the year in which the history of 
California begins — the San Carlos put to sea, 
loaded with stores and carrying sixty-two peo- 

40 History of Los AngeUs, 

pie. Of these twenty-five were soldiers in com- 
mand of Lieutenant Pedro Pages, who later 
held the office of governor of California, and 
the remainder were, for the most part, sailors 
and artisans. 

In February the second expedition by sea 
started — the San Antonio, which, although it 
set sail a month later than the San Carlos, ar- 
rived at San Diego three weeks before its pre- 
decessor. Galvez's instructions to the com- 
manders were that they should keep out to sea 
until they sighted the islands of the channel, 
and should then work down the coast to the 
bay of San Diego. It is difficult to realize that 
the San Antonio, which made the best time of 
the two, consumed sixty days in doing a dis- 
tance that would now seem to call for less than 
a week of sailing. In the case of the San Car- 
los, however, the delay is easily explained in 
the one dreadful word — scurvy. This disease, 
which was at that time a common visitor on 
shipboard and in prisons and camps, was due 
to impure water, monotonous fare, uncleanli- 
ness and bad sanitation. It has very nearly 
passed out of existence among civilized people 
in these days, and it is not easy to appreciate 
what a terror it once had for all who followed 
the sea. The water casks on the San Carlos 
were leaky, and the springs of Cedros island, 
where the vessel stopped to replenish, yield- 
ed water that proved unwholesome. By the 
time San Diego was reached the disease had 
taken possession of the crew. 

Hmo Governor Fbriola Came to Los AngeUs. 41 

The first of the land expeditions was un- 
der the command of Rivera, who had collected 
a quantity of horses, cows, mules and general 
supplies from the Lower California missions. 
He set out for the north in March of 1769, and 
arrived at San Diego in the middle of May. 
By this time the people from the ships had 
constructed a camp and hospital on shore, and 
the crew of the San Antonio were taking care 
of the crew of the San Carlos, all of whom were 
now afflicted with the scurvy. About sixty 
deaths occurred, to the great demoralizatioa 
of the whole company. 

On the first of July the last of the land 
forces arrived, Governor Portola in command, 
accompanied by Father Junipero Serra. The 
delay had been occasioned partly by their stop- 
ping to found a new mission in Lower Califor- 
nia and partly by Serra's inability to travel, 
owing to the condition of his ulcerated leg. 
He refused to allow the Indians to carry him 
in a litter, because he was unwilling to cause 
them such a labor, and he would not be left be- 
hind. At last a muleteer applied the same poul- 
tice that he would have used on an animal and 
the leg was made enough better for the padie 
to go on. This incident is set down at full 
length in the narrative in much the same wav 
that a miracle would be recorded, 

Galvez had issued instructions to the sol- 
diers that the Indians should be treated with 
kindness, and he threatened severe punish- 

42 History of Los Angeles. 

ment to all that failed to comply with this or- 
der. It was believed that little gifts of brown 
sugar and of cloth and beads would please the 
natives and induce them to accept Christian- 
ity — ^that is, submit to the form of baptism, as 
their brethren had done in Mexico and Lower 
California. The cloth and the beads were 
found to be acceptable, particularly the former, 
but the sugar was declined, or if taken at all, 
was merely carried to the bushes and buried 
there. The same treatment was accorded all 
other articles of food that were offered to the 
Indians, the reason being that they connected 
the sickness so prevalent among the first Span- 
iards that arrived with their diet ; and this fear 
of European food clung to the Indians for 
some time, and, with regard to the brown su- 
gar, was never entirely removed. 

It had been intended that the expeditions 
should be reorganized at San Diego, and that 
one of the ships and half the land forces should 
go north to Monterey, and there found a mis- 
sion at the upper end of the territory, with 
San Diego as the limit on the lower end. Be- 
tween these two points a series of institutions 
were to be established. But the havoc wrought 
by the scurvy interfered with this plan, and 
compelled the immediate return of one of the 
ships to Lower California for additional sailors 
— ^there being scarcely enough left to work one 
ship — and also for supplies. The San Antonio 
started back July 14, two weeks after the ar- 

How Governor Poriola Come io Los Angeles, 43 

rival of Portola. In the meantime Galvez, as 
though anticipating the wants of his colonists, 
had dispatched the third member of his little 
fleet at Loreto, the San Jose, well-filled with 
provisions and articles for the use of the set- 
tlers, and manned by a complete crew. What 
became of it? No one ever knew. No storm 
ever washed it ashore on the California coast, 
nor was it ever sighted on the high seas. Prob- 
ably its crew became infected with the scurvy, 
like those of San Carlos, and after drifting 
about aimlessly for a time, it may have foun- 
dered in some storm and sunk in the open sea. 
Immediately after the departure of the San 
Antonio southward, Portola started north with 
an expedition of sixty-four persons, made up 
of soldiers, mule-drivers, a few Lower Califor- 
nia Indians, and two priests. One of the latter, 
Father Crespi, kept a daily record of the jour- 
ney, which has come down to us in the docu- 
ments collected and treasured by Serra's 
friend, Palou. With the expedition were two 
future governors of the territory. Pages and 
Rivera. Junipero Serra did not accompany 
them, partly because his lame leg rendered 
such a trip difficult and dangerous, and partly 
because he wished to establish the mission at 
San Diego, and begin on the work of convert- 
ing the Indians. The good father chafed, no 
doubt, under the delay and the interference to 
his plans which had been brought about by 
the prevalent sickness of the camp. 

44 History of Los Angeles. 

The purpose of the expedition led by Por- 
tola was to find the Bay of Monterey and es- 
tablish an outpost there, to be held until Father 
Junipero should arrive and found a mission in 
due form. The round trip from San Diego to 
Monterey consumed over six months. It could 
now be made by rail in about three days. The 
party averaged from eight to fifteen miles a 
day, with frequent rests. Their route lay along 
the coast, except where the broadening of the 
valleys allowed them to make their way in- 
land without the risk of losing their bearings. 

On the nineteenth day after leaving San 
Diego, to wit, on the second of August, this 
party of white people crossed the Los Angeles 
river at about the point where the Buena Vista 
street bridge is now located, and passed around 
the hills of Elysian park, and out into the 
Cahuenga valley. It is not improbable that 
they came up toward the center of the modern 
city, and it was doubtless somewhere near the 
Plaza that they met with a party of Indians 
from the village of Yang-na. Father Crespi 
records the fact that the savages came out to- 
ward them with loud howling, but that they 
made no really hostile demonstration. On the 
contrary, they showed their good will by offer- 
ing their visitors handfuls of seeds, which the 
latter refused, for the reason, the padre says, 
that "they had no place to bestow them," but 
perhaps also because they were a little suspi- 
cious of the Indians' motives. The savages 


Hmo Governor Portola Came to Los Angeles. 45 

were evidently displeased at the rebuff, for 
when the seeds were refused they threw them 
contemptuously on the ground. 

Now the second day of August is, in the 
calendar of the Roman Catholic church, the 
special feast day of Our Lady of the Angels, 
that is to say, the Virgin Mary. As the party 
passed along through this unknown country, 
they made the most of the explorer's privilege 
to bestow names on the various features of 
the landscape, and also upon each spot in which 
they camped. The Spaniard being an individ- 
ual who is rarely in a hurry, has a fondness 
for long and sonorous titles. The modern 
hidalgo, or Spanish gentleman, usually has half 
a dozen family names fastened together with a 
"Y" or an occasional "De" and in his original 
geographical titles he was no less prodigal. 
For example, when the party came upon the 
Santa Ana river, several days before they 
reached Los Angeles, they decided, for some 
reason, to name it after the Saviour of men. 
Now an American or an Englishman would 
have felt this to be somewhat sacrilegious, 
but if he had been compelled to do 
it, he would probably have called the 
stream merely the "Jesus river." The 
name bestowed by Father Crespi was 
"El Rio del Dulcisimo Nombre de Jesus," 
the River of the Sweetest Name of Jesus. 
While they were encamped on its banks, a 
series of light earthquakes took place, and it 

rf^^W^—rt^M^riw^n^^fc^i^BdM^i^gbjaM^— ^i*^ " ' ■~TSr~iaTLd 

46 History of Los AngfUs. 

was decided to incorporate this fact in the 
name, and it was finally called "The River of 
the Sweetest Name of Jesus of the Earth- 
quakes." Still it is not much of a river. In 
the eastern states it would be called a creek — 
or worse yet, a "crick." The Los Angeles river 
was named the Porciuncula, after a little 
stream in Italy that was dear to the heart of 
St. Francis; and the spot which the Indians 
called Yang-na was named from the second of 
August feast day, Nuestra Senora de Los An- 
geles. Twelve years later, when Governor 
Felipe de Neve founded a city there, he pre- 
fixed the word "Pueblo" to the title already 
on record, and it struggled along under that 
name, until the Americans took possession 
and chopped it down to the last two words; 
and now these seem to be in a fair way to be 
telescoped into L'sangl's. 

Governor Portola and his party continued 
their way northward, with the sea on their left 
hand, until they came to the bay of Monterey, 
which they failed to recogtiize as the perfect 
harbor described by Viscaino. As they ram- 
bled about the adjoming country, in the search 
for Monterey, a small detachment under the 
lead of a lieutenant named Ortega, afterwards 
the founder of the Ortega family of Santa Bar- 
bara, came in sight of the bay of San Fran- 
cisco, which one might suppose would have 
satisfied their desire for a harbor; but they had 
been sent out by Galvez to found a settlement 

How Coventor F^nioUt Came Jo Los Angeles. 47 

at Monterey, and they proposed to obey orders. 
At length they abandoned the search, and re- 
turned to San Diego, passing for a second time 
through the Los Angeles region, this time by 
way of Pasadena and over the San Gabriel 
river. The party were footsore and almost 
without supplies, and Father Crespi records 
with gratitude the hospitable treatment ac- 
corded them by the Indians of the Hahaniog-na 
tribe in that vicinity. 



HE Mission of San Diego was formally 
dedicated on the i6th of July, 1769, 
by Junipero Serra and his attendant 
priests, just as Portola was leaving 
for Monterey. It is, therefore, the 
oldest of the establishments founded 
by the Franciscans in California. The loca- 
tion was in the vicinity of the camp, in what 
is now called the Old Town. The beginning 
was not auspicious. No Indians presented 
themselves to be converted; on the contrary, 
they regarded the ceremonial with suspicion 
and disdain. The discharge of musketry, 
which had frightened the savages in the begin- 
ning, was treated with indifference when they 
found that it brought them no harm ; and they 
hung about the camp, incessantly begging for 
cloth, and stealing any article that was not 
carefully guarded. At last matters came to a 
crisis. Several of the Indians entered the camp 
where the sick lay, and undertook to tear the 
clothing from the beds. They were driven 
out by force, whereupon they returned in con- 
siderable numbers with bows and arrows and 
began open warfare. Obedient to the warn- 
ings of Galvez, the soldiers refrained from fir- 
ing directly at the Indians, until a volley of 

Thf Banner of the Virgin. 49 

arrows killed one European and wounded sev- 
eral others. Then they shot into the crowd, 
with a slaughter that terrified the savages into 
immediate submission. 

From their account of the case, the Span- 
iards do not appear to have been at all to 
blame, but the result of the bloodshed was 
disastrous to the kindly intentions of the 
padres. It gave the soldiers an excuse to 
adopt harsh and often outrageous measures 
toward the Indians, and it put off, for an in- 
definite period, all possibility of winning them 
over to the standard of the church. A whole 
year passed before a single conversion was ac- 

Early in 1770 Governor Portola returned 
to San Diego, with the disappointing informa- 
tion that he had been unable to find the bay 
of Monterey, and had effected no settlement in 
the north. We may suppose that Serra was 
grieved and annoyed, particularly when Por- 
tola came to describe the place that he admit- 
ted bore some resemblance to Monterey, and 
which the mariners who had remained at San 
Diego declared must be the spot that was 
sought. The distress of the ardent founder of 
missions became still more acute, when Por- 
tola presently announced that unless reliel 
came from the peninsula by the middle of 
March, he proposed to take the entire com- 
pany back to Loreto and abandon the expedi- 

What happened then reads like a leaf from 

so History of Los Angrles. 

the early days of the Cbristian era — the d»s 
of saints and of frequent minor miracles. Im 
exact time for departure was set, and Father 
Serra and his fellow priests prayed witboat 
ceasing that something might happen to pre- 
vent the governor from carrying out his threat. 
Argument, entreaty, and even tears had proved 
unavailing to shake his nurpose. Finally, 
when the last hours of respite were passings 
a sail was seen far out at sea, going 
north. Four day^ later the San An- 
tonio came into the bay of San Diego. It 
had been laden with stores at Loreto by 
Galvez, and dispatched with orders to gt> north 
to Monterey, where the visitador general sup- 
posed a settlement had been located. Landing 
at the Channel islands for water, they learned 
from the Indians that Portola and his party 
had returned to the south. 

Here was an interesting succession of 
chances that might, by the turn of a day, have 
completely changed the history of California. 
Had the San Antonio passed San Diego in the 
night, unseen, or had it delayed at Loreto a 
day or two longer, San Diego would have been 
abandoned, and Galvez perhaps have reported 
to the king that the occupation of Upper Cali- 
fornia was difficult and unprofitable. The 
Russians were already working down from 
Alaska, and a little later the English made fur 
settlements around Vancouver, It is not im- 
possible that, had the Spaniards retreated from 
the country in 1770, some other nation would 

The Bmnner of iht Virgin, 51 

presently have taken possession, from whose 
hold California could not have been so easily 
wrested as it was from that of the Spaniards' 
legatee — the Mexicans. 

The return of the San Aptonio with ample 
provisions convinced Portofa that Galvez was 
thoroughly in earnest about the settlement at 
Monterey. Two expeditions were immediately 
planned; one by sea, the San Antonio, with 
Serra on board, and one on shore with Portola 
in command, accompanied by Pages, the future 
governor, and Father Crespi, the faithful keep- 
er of the diary of travels. Again the natives 
of Yang-na turned out to witness the passage 
of white men through their domain — and a 
very uneasy sort of a person they must have 
considered Portola, to be eternally wandering 
up and down the coast in this fashion. When 
the San Antonio arrived at Monterey, the land 
party had been on the ground two weeks, and 
a permanent camp was established on the 
shore. Here, on the 3rd of June, 1770, the 
second California mission was founded in the 
name of San Carlos Borromeo, although it was 
commonly spoken of as the Mission of Mon- 

The account which is given us in detail of 
the ceremonial is probably applicable, with a 
few small changes, to all the mission foundings 
of the period. A rude altar was constructed, 
and several of the bells brought from Lower 
California were hung in a framework of 
branches erected near by. Then all the Euro- 

52 History of Los Angeles. 

peans assembled, the Indians surveying the 
performance a few hundred yards away. 
Chimes were rung upon the bells, and the con- 
gregation kneeled. Dressed in complete vest- 
ments, Father Seiya asked a blessing and con- 
secrated the place, while the hymn "Veni 
Creator Spiritus" was chanted. The cross was 
elevated and adored, holy water was sprinkled 
about, and mass was celebrated at an altar 
above which hung a banner painted to repre- 
sent the Virgin Mary. In the absence of in- 
strumental music there were salvos of mus- 
ketry. Junipero Serra then preached a ser- 
mon, in which he exhorted those to whom the 
care of the mission was about to be com- 
mitted that they should labor faithfully for 
the conversion of the heathen in their juris- 
diction, and uphold the noble traditions of the 
Franciscan order. Prayers were offered to the 
Virgin and the ceremonial closed with the 
chanting of the "Te Deum Laudamus." 

Messengers were dispatched to report to 
Galvez and also to the viceroy in Mexico the 
success of the enterprise in the founding of the 
two missions of Monterey and San Diego. The 
San Antonio presently set sail for San Bias, 
then the principal port on the west coast of 
Mexico, carrying Governor Portola, who now 
turned over to Pedro Pages the charge of af- 
fairs in California, as its military governor. 
This ends all connection of Portola with the 
enterprise of colonizing Upper California. 

When the San Antonio returned, it brought 

The Banner of the Virgin. S3 

ten more priests from the college of San Fer- 
nando in Mexico, and a load of fresh supplies. 
Orders were sent to Serra to proceed with the 
founding of more missions — or perhaps it 
would be more correct to say that consent was 
given to his wishes in that respect. The new- 
comers rested for a time at Monterey with 
Serra and Crespi, and were instructed in the 
work they were to undertake. It was decided 
to select a point midway between Monterey 
and San Diego, and locate a mission there. 
Again, between that point and San Diego, an- 
other should be placed. To this latter. Padres 
Somera and Cambon were assigned, and when 
the San Antonio went south, it carried them 
as far as San Diego. 

The third mission to be founded was San 
Antonio de Padua, which was situated about 
sixty miles south of Monterey, and was another 
link in the chain of stopping places on the land 
route. The ceremony was performed by Serra 
himself, on the 14th of July, 1771. 

San Gabriel was the fourth mission to come 
into existence. While Father Junipero was 
busy founding San Antonio, and advising with 
the new padres there, Somera and Cambon 
set out from San Diego on the 6th of August, 
1771, with a mule train of supplies, fourteen 
soldiers, and four muleteers, or helpers. 

It had been intended to locate the mission 
on the river described in a previous chapter 
as the "River of Jesus of the Earthquakes," 
which we now know as the Santa Ana, but the 

54 History of Los Angeles, 

fathers were not pleased with the site for some 
reason, perhaps because they preferred higher 
ground. They went on until they came to the 
river that Portola had called the San Miguel, 
but which we now call the San Gabriel. Here 
they selected a site, about three miles south 
of the present location, in the midst of a fertile, 
well-wooded plain covered with shrubbery 
and flowers. Among the latter, the padres 
found what they called "wild Castilian roses.*' 

The Indians appeared in great numbers 
and with what the padres took to be hostile 
demonstrations; but when the banner of the 
Virgin was raised before them, according to 
the account given by the priests, it received 
immediate homage from the savages, who 
knelt and offered their necklaces to the beauti- 
ful painted image. The apparent submission, 
however, was probably a mixture of astonish- 
ment — ^for they had never beheld a picture be- 
fore — ^with a fear of witchcraft. 

The acting governor, Pedro Pages, did not 
accompany the expedition, owing to the fact 
that a number of desertions had taken place 
among the soldiers at San Diego, and general 
demoralization and disorder prevailed. He 
was engaged in a struggle to re-establish dis- 
cipline. The soldiers that acted as a guard to 
the San Gabriel party were commanded by 
some petty officer, who seems to have exer-. 
cised very little control over them. The formal 
founding of the mission occurred September 
8, 1771, and just a month later a serious con- 

•«s:^ *"" -jL. i wj cy 

Th4 Banner of the Virgin. 55 

flict took place between the Indians and the 
soldiers, owing to the latter's gross maltreat- 
ment of the native women. According to the 
statements afterwards made by the padres, it 
was the custom of the soldiers to ride into the 
neighboring Indian villages, lasso the females 
and drag them to the camp. The Indians finally 
attacked the mission, but their chief being 
slain in the fight, they begged for peace. Then 
the same condition ensued that existed at San 
Diego; the padres were unable to induce the 
Indians to come to the church, or to present 
themselves for baptism. As the only samples 
of the finished product of Christian civilization 
shown them were the cruel and licentious sol- 
diers, it is not surprising that they hesitated to 
accept the doctrine. 

Shortly after the breaking out of hostilities, 
Pages came up from San Diego with a body of 
soldiers and a pack train, on his way north 
to assist in the founding of some more mis- 
sions. He remained at San Gabriel several 
months, during which time things were some- 
what reduced to order. 

The first building constructed was of wood, 
plastered with adobe and roofed with tules. It 
measured forty-five feet long by eighteen wide, 
and was surrounded by a palisade, the latter 
of such weak construction as to be practically 
worthless. This building came to be called 
the "Mision Vieja," or old mission, when the 
modern site was selected a few years later. 
The exact spot on which the first buildings 



ST THE very time that Great Britain 
was learning through her experience 
with thirteen rebellious provinces 
how colonists must be treated to be 
held in allegiance, Spain was ma- 
turing her plans for the settlement of the pres- 
ent state of California, and was falling into 
the same set of errors that Great Britain had 
made; the only point of contrast being that 
"His Most Catholic Majesty" went several de- 
grees further to the wrong than did the En- 
glish monarch. The saving grace of the Span- 
ish system of colonization was that it was 
largely a matter of theory. It was never car- 
ried out as planned, else it could not have 
lasted even as long as it did. 

The one purpose that actuated Spain in the 
establishing of colonies was to secure some di- 
rect and immediate advantage to herself. The 
welfare of the colonist was considered, to be 
sure, and considered with great care and par- 
ticularity, but it was merely with reference to 
his producing value for the crown. The new 
territory was supposed to belong to the king, 
and to be subject to his direct control without 
interference from the cortes — the Spanish rep- 
resentative body. So far was this theory car- 

59 Hiitory oj Los AngeUs. 

ried in the case of the early California colonists 
that they were given no title to the lands they 
obtained, but were treated as mere sojourners 
thereon, at the king's pleasure, having no right 
to give a mortgage or to transfer the occupancy 
without his consent. Right to live in the col- 
onies was restricted to the aborigines and to 
Spanish subjects, the privilege of the former 
being of a doubtful and precarious nature. 
With reference to California, it was especially 
decreed that any foreigner who entered the ter- 
ritory did so at the forfeit of his life. The in- 
stitutions of the original owners of land in the 
Spanish colonies — whether Indians, Aztecs or 
Incas — were treated as though they did not ex- 
ist. They were absolutely ignored. In this, 
Spain differed radically from Rome, whose ex- 
ample in most other respects she followed — 
for the Romans based their colonial strength 
on an adroit mingling of their own laws and 
customs with those of the conquered nations. 
Although the church was allowed to lead 
the way into the wilderness, and bring the sav- 
ages to Christian civilization, it was never in- 
tended that any temporal advantage should 
accrue to that institution in return for its work. 
Fundamentally the policy was imperial, not 
ecclesiastical. The mission system, as it pres- 
ently shaped itself — a scheme of paternal gov- 
ernment among the Indians, with all the fruits 
of their industrial effort passing into the hands 
of the church — was something that the Span- 
ish king never contemplated when he sent the 

Tk^ Pueblo Plan. 59 

Franciscans into California, and something 
that his successors were taking active steps to 
bring to an end at the time when the territory 
slipped out of their control. Although he waa 
as faithful a Catholic as any of his subjects, 
Carlos III kept a watchful eye on the priest- 
hood. He was ready to concede the highest 
spiritual authority to the church, but in tem- 
poral matters he would brook no infringement 
of his imperial power and dignity. The theory 
on which the California missions rested was 
that they were mere temporary religious out- 
posts, whose function it was to bring the sav- 
ages to the Christian faith. No definite time 
limit was set upon them, but it was generally 
assumed that ten years would be sufficient to 
carry out the contemplated work, and that 
then, the Indians all being baptized as good 
Christians, the missions would become paro- 
chial institutions, of the same rank and char- 
acter as the churches in other portions of the 

The scheme failed to come out in this 
shape, because the Franciscans found it neces- 
sary in the practical work of Christianizing the 
natives to take on some elements of temporal 
authority, and having once assumed this, they 
never found the exact moment when it seemed 
to be possible — or at least desirable — to lay it 

Now if the mission was to be a mere acces- 
sory of the government, it was evident that 
there must be some form of colonial develop- 

80 HUtory of Lot AngtUt. 

ment distinct from that ; and this came in two 
forms, the pueblo and the presidio. The first 
of these was, in theory, purely civil — the town 
— and the other purely military — the fort. As 
the plan worked out, however, each partook ia 
some measure of the properties of the other. 
The pueblo was under a semi-military rule, for 
the reason that one of the purposes of its ex- 
istence was to supply provisions for the army; 
the presidio, on the other hand, was finally 
surrounded by a town made up of retired sol- 
diers and their families, and of people who 
sought the safety and the trade that came 
through the presence of the military. Monte- 
rey, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San 
Diego were the presidial towns ; and the three 
regularly established pueblos were San Jose, 
Los Angeles and Branciforte, or, as it came to 
be called later, Santa Cruz. Towns also natu- 
rally came into existence in the vicinity of the 
missions, but these were regarded as accidents, 
not as part of the general plan. 

The year after the establishment of the mis- 
sion of San Gabriel, 1772, Father Junipero Ser- 
ra founded San Luis Obispo, the fifth of the 
series, and the work having now advanced to a 
point where he felt it could be left alone for a 
time, the conquerer of the wilderness journeyed 
to the City of Mexico, to confer with the new 
viceroy, Bucareli. A conflict had already be- 
gun between the military authority, represent- 
ed by Fages, and the Franciscans ; and Serra 
wished to have the lines drawn more closely as 

Ttu Pueblo Flan. 61 

to their respective powers. Bucareli seems to 
have arrived at the conclusion that the difficul- 
ty was due in some measure to the bad judg- 
ment of his military representative, for he 
straightway removed Fages and put in his 
place Rivera — the same officer that had taken 
charge, of the commissary in the first expedi- 
tions. A suggestion of Serra's that a new land 
route to California be opened by way of So- 
nora and the Colorado river was adopted, and 
an experienced Mexican officer named Anza 
was sent through that way. A mission post 
was presently established on the Colorado river 
which a few years later met with a tragical fate. 

In 1774 Serra returned to California with in- 
creased authority and renewed hope and en- 
thusiasm, and set about preparing for the 
establishment of more missions. He found that 
the Franciscans in Lower California were in- 
volved in a quarrel with the governor of that 
province, De Barri, who possessed a nominal 
jurisdiction over Alta California, and it is very 
probable that he asked Bucareli to make a 
change there as he had in the upper territory. 
At alt events Bucareli removed De Barri. as he 
had Fages, and to him there succeeded one of 
the most remarkable and interesting characters 
of this whole period, a man second only to 
Serra himself in force, energy and foresight, 
Felipe de Neve, the founder of Los Angeles. 

In 1775 the Indians of the San Diego dis- 
trict attacked the mission, and set it on fire. 
Father Jaume and two artisans were killed, and 

iT Califurnia, 
ii the pri-'fcr- 

i^IKVlrn^ tlic 

rii .\iuntiTcv 
>1 l..,ai llta'l 



aiita narl.aia. 
.>n.-c with tin- 
:iiilitaiv lu^a.l- 

n of tlu-^:a!c. 

.nmirhly Imsi- 
■ranii-ir wlii.-h 

.< of .u-rUli.Tlli-V 

■r tlK> im-^i.Iin> 
liitii .'IS alisiinl, 
-Uvl ferl'iilv (,f 
!oaviii'4 T.i'.u-cr 
■rov that 
>talo nf -ifTairs 
o fii-Uls. i^^ithcr- 


62 History of Los Angeles. 

all the buildings were destroyed. There is no 
evidence that the Indians had been ill-treated 
by the soldiers, nor did the investigation, which 
was presently carried on by Rivera, reveal any 
special cause for complaint on their part, other 
than that the padres were baptizing their breth- 
ren. The outbreak seems to have sprung from 
the erratic impulse of a crowd. It struck terror 
into the hearts of the missionaries all over the 
state, and tightened the lines of discipline in 
the camps and around the Indian villages. 

This affair led to a falling out between Ri- 
vera and the Franciscans, in consequence of 
which the former was removed from his posi- 
tion. He insisted upon entering the church 
edifice at San Diego and dragging thence an 
Indian who, he asserted, had participated in 
the rebellion, but whom the fathers regarded 
only as a fugitive seeking the sacred privilege 
of sanctuary. For this violation of the laws of 
the church Rivera was excommunicated. He 
chose to make light of this for a time, but at 
last it began to prey upon his mind, until there 
was a rumor among his soldiers that he was 
going mad. In 1776 the new governor, Felipe 
de Neve, was ordered to make his headquarters 
at Monterey, and to send Rivera south to Lor- 
eto. The next year the change was effected, 
with Monterey as the capital of the two Cali- 
fornias. It was now only eight years since the 
founding of the upper territory, but Galvez, 
who was a member of the king's colonial coun- 
cil, had come to believe that its development 

The Piiaio Plan. 63 

would soon surpass that of Lower California, 
and for that reason it was given the prefer- 

De Neve came up by land, inspecting the 
missions as he passed along, and studying the 
needs of the country. He arrived at Monterey 
in February of 1777, and the first boat that 
went south carried a report to his superior of 
what he had seen and what he desired to rec- 
ommend. The missions of San Francisco and 
San Juan Capistrano had been established in 
1776, and that of Santa Clar^ in 1777 just be- 
fore the governor's arrival. This made eight 
in all. The governor advised that three more 
missions be located on the Santa Barbara chan- 
nel at the center of the chain, and that one of 
these be made also a presidio. The sites se- 
lected were those subsequently occupied bv 
the missions of Purisima (near Point Concep- 
cion), San Buena Ventura and Santa Barbara. 
The latter place was, in accordance with the 
advice of De Neve, made the militarv head- 
quarters for all the central portion of the state. 

The new governor was a thoroughly busi- 
ness-like individual, and the practice which 
prevailed — even after eight years of occupancy 
— of bringing al! the supplies for the presidios 
by vessel from San Bias strnck him as absurd, 
especially in view of the reported fertility of 
the California land. Before leaving Lower 
California, he had explained to the viceroy that 
the only way to remedy this state of affairs 
was to import settlers to till the fields, gather- 

64 History of Los Angeles. 

ing them into cities for the sake of safety and 
to make life in the wild country more endur- 
able. The process of settlement recommended 
by De Neve, and subsequently employed, was 
entirely different from that followed on the 
eastern coast, and throughout the middle 
west of America, In California the town or 
pueblo was made the unit of settlement; else- 
where in the union, the country received the 
pioneers, and the cities did not come into ex- 
istence until the farming land was largely tak- 
en up. The California system showed the in- 
fluence of Rome, coming down through the 
ancient province of Spain. The Roman empire 
was a city governing the territory that sur- 
rounded it, and throughout its provinces a sim- 
ilar system was employed; the city governed 
the country. Therefore it did not occur to De 
Neve to import settlers to go on farms. He 
must bring in people to found cities. 

In his tour of the state, he noted two sites 
of striking beauty and fertility, each supplied 
with plenty of water and surrounded by open, 
level country. These were the site called 
Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, on the Rio 
Porciuncula, and a location near the mission of 
Santa Clara, on the river Guadalupe, which has 
since become one of the most famous fruit dis- 
tricts of the world. At the latter site he found- 
ed the city of San Jose, named for Jose de Gal- 
vez, the original patron of California, as well 
as for the saint of that name. The settlers 
numbered sixty-six persons in all — fourteen 

Tht Pttebla I^an. 65 

families, the heads of which were, for the most 
part, retired soldiers from Monterey and San 
Francisco, special care being exercised to se- 
lect those that knew something about agri- 
culture. The date of the estabhshment of this 
first California pueblo is November, 1777, and 
it thus precedes by four years the pueblo of 
the south, Los Angeles. The plan pursued in 
the allotment of lands, and the treatment of 
settlers was very nearly identical with that cm- 
ployed later at Los Angeles, and the descrip- 
tion given in the next chapter will do for both 



ERETOFORE the governor of Califor- 
nia had reported to the viceroy direct, 
but about the time that De Neve was 
sent to the capital at Monterey a new 
arrangement went into eflFect, where- 
by the northwestern provinces of Mexico, in- 
cluding the two Califomias, were joined in one 
district under a commandant general. The 
first to occupy this position was Teodoro de 
Croix, nephew of the De Croix who had been 
viceroy when Galvez was sending the expedi- 
tions into California. He was a man of energy 
and progressive ideas, and he seems to have 
reposed a large amount of confidence in Colonel 
Felipe de Neve — and wisely. The latter was 
fitted by natural inclination to be a jurist and a 
lawgiver. His state papers are, for the time 
and circumstances of their production, models 
of fairness, prudence and foresight. He found 
the governmental system of California in con- 
fusion, with the representatives of the church, 
the army and the civil authority continuously 
working at cross purposes. During the seven 
years of his administration — five of which 
were spent in Alta California — he codified the 
existing laws and rulings with regard to these 

•m J ' j ^sg.— ' II t" c: 

Governor De Neve Comes to Los Angeles. 67 

provinces, and drew up a detailed plan for their 
military and civil government, touching in 
some degree, moreover, on the relation of the 
church to other elements of authority. 

As was stated in the preceding chapter, the 
project for the founding of civil settlements 
was an important feature of De Neve's plan. 
The reason which he set forth in his first com- 
munication to De Croix on this subject, viz., 
that of producing supplies for the consumption 
of the army, was doubtless not the only ele- 
ment in his calculations. While preserving al- 
ways a friendly and courteous attitude toward 
the Franciscans, he saw far enough along the 
line of policy they were pursuing to compre- 
hend that it would never produce a legitimate 
industrial community, such as the colony need- 
ed for permanent prosperity. Being a man 
with some education, as well as a high degree 
of intelligence, he was probably not unfamiliar 
with the development that was taking place on 
the Atlantic coast, where the settlements 
founded by the English had increased in wealth 
and population to such a degree that they 
were now demanding for themselves the right 
of self-government; and he felt that if Spain 
was to hold its own in the final struggle for ter- 
ritory it must people the country with some- 
thing better than a horde of timid and childish 

Immediately after the founding of San Jose, 
the governor set about preparing for the city 
in the south. He readily obtained the enthus- 

68 History of Los Angeles, 

iastic co-operation of De Croix, who transmit- 
ted to Galvez the recommendation of De Neve, 
and by Galvez they were transmitted to Carlos 
III. When they came back from Spain they 
were in the form of a royal regulation, or or- 
der, and the new ruler of California was com- 
mended for his energy and good judgment. 
All this consumed time, and it was not until 
1 78 1 that the actual founding of Los Angeles 
took place. It was, therefore, the first legally 
ordained city of California, San Jose being 
rather in the nature of an informal, preliminary 

The greatest difficulty with which De Neve 
had to contend — ^an almost insuperable one, as 
the subsequent history of the colony showed — 
lay in securing the right kind of material for 
citizenship. The whole policy of Spain for 
three hundred years had tended to drive out or 
destroy the progressive artisan class — the 
sturdy, independent yeomanry that had made 
England great on land and sea. There is rea- 
son to believe that De Neve was not pleased 
with the conduct of the ex-soldiers at San Jose ; 
at all events when he came to establish Los 
Angeles he preferred to experiment in a new 
field, and he asked De Croix to send him some 
agricultural people from Mexico. Orders were 
dispatched to Captain Rivera at Loreto to come 
over to the mainland and secure twenty-four 
settlers with their families to form the new 
city in California. The requirements were that 
they should be healthy and strong, and men of 









Governor De Nevt Comes to Los Angeles, 69 

good character and regular lives, that they 
might set a good example to the natives. There 
must be among the number a mason, a black- 
smith and a carpenter. Female relatives 
should be encouraged to accompany them, with 
a view to marriage with the bachelor soldiers 
already in California. The term for which all 
were obligated was ten years. 

The proposition that Rivera was empow- 
ered to make to the possible settlers, in accord- 
ance with the plan laid down in the regulations, 
was a fairly liberal one — vastly more liberal, in 
fact, than any that was ever offered to colon- 
ists on the Atlantic coast. Each settler was to 
be given enough land to engage his personal 
labor, though no extensive land grants were at 
this time contemplated. It was not his to mort- 
gage or sell, but he owned it through life, and 
at death it descended to his children on the 
same terms. But this was not all. In addition 
to the land, each settler was to receive an al- 
lowance of $116.50 per annum, for the first two 
years, and $60.00 for each of the next three 
years, these sums to be paid in clothing and 
other necessary articles at cost prices. Each 
one was to receive, moreover, two horses, two 
mares, two cows and a calf, two sheep, two 
goats, a mule, a yoke of oxen, a plow point, a 
spade, a hoe, an axe, a sickle, a musket and a 
leathern shield. Breeding animals were to be 
provided for the community, and also a forge, 
an anvil, crowbars, spades, carpenters' tools, 

70 HUtory of Los AmgtUs. 

etc. The cost of all these articles was to be 
charged against the recipients, to be paid for at 
the end of five years in stock and supplies taken 
at the market price for the consumption of the 

The regulations drawn up by De Neve pro- 
vided that the pueblo which these settlers were 
to occupy should contain four square leagues, 
or thirty-six square miles; and the original 
boundaries of Los Angeles measured six miles 
each way. Near the center of this area there 
was to be a plaza, measuring 275 by 180 feet, 
around which building lots should be assigned 
the settlers, 1 11 by 55 feet in size. About half 
a mile from this plaza a series of fields were to 
be laid out, each containing about seven acres, 
and the settler was entitled to two of these for 
cultivation. He had, besides, a community 
right in the general area, both within and with- 
out the city, for pasturage. 

Such were the privileges and the opportun- 
ities that Rivera was authorized to present to 
the people of Sonora and Sinatoa, along the 
west coast of Mexico, to induce them to come 
to California. The reputation of the Spanish 
government as paymaster not being first-class, 
he was advised by De Croix to explain specific- 
ally that funds had been set aside out of the 
royal treasury to meet these obligations; and 
as an earnest of good faith the first payment 
was made in advance. By this means, he was 
enabled to enter into a final contract with those 
who would agree to come, and to punish as de- 

Govtmor De Neve Comei lo Los Angelts. 71 

serters any that took the king's money and then 
failed to respond to the call. 

Rivera was, without doubt, an excellent 
man for an undertaking of this kind. Having 
been in charge of the commissary for several 
expeditions, he knew the country and under- 
stood its people, and having served eight years 
in Upper California, he was probably well 
equipped with the usual stock of adjectives 
to describe its beauties and the excellence of 
its climate. There is, we believe, no case on 
record of any one living in California eight 
years without becoming enamored of its cli- 
mate. Then there was a particular reason 
why Rivera should do his best to please De 
Croix at this piece of work. De Neve had ac- 
cepted the governorship of California rather 
under protest, and his resignation was now on 
file with the commandant general. He had 
cause to hope that his influence at the Span- 
ish court would procure him a more exalted 
position — a hope that was presently realized. 
Rivera was next in rank, and the position was 
now, under the new arrangement of provinces, 
of much greater importance than when for- 
merly held by him. 

We may therefore assume that the cap- 
tain exerted himself to the utmost to secure 
the required number of settlers, and to make 
the best possible selection of material. He 
consumed nearly a year in the work. Never- 
theless, the net result of his labors was not the 
twenty-four families demanded, but twelve. 

72 History of Los Amgeles. 

and of these there was one that probably never 
came to Los Angeles at all. While the writer 
naturally hesitates to say anything that can 
be construed as a reflection upon the "first 
families of Los Angeles," historical verity re- 
quires the fact to be set down that Rivera, at 
the end of his search, seems to have taken 
what he could get, rather than to have selected 
what he desired. A list of these people will 
be given presently, together with some partic- 
ulars about them, and the reader may judge 
for himself. 

It was in the beginning of the year 1780 
that Rivera crossed over from Loreto to Sina- 
loa, and it was not until a year and t /o months 
later, March, 1781, that his settlers arrived ai 
Loreto to undertake the trip to the new coim- 
try. They were in charge of Lieutenant Jose 
Zuniga; for Rivera was to go north with the 
live stock and supplies, accompanied by some 
soldiers that he had enlisted, by the new route 
across the Colorado river. Zuniga and his 
party arrived at San Gabriel on the i8th of 
August, and they were quartered some dis- 
tance from the mission — probably at the old 
buildings — for the reason that one of the col- 
onists was just recovering from the smallpox, 
and a temporary quarantine seemed advisable. 

Now comes the end of poor Rivera. Two 
years before this time, a small settlement had 
been established by the Spaniards on the Col- 
orado river, and two churches were founded 
there, under the special patronage of the com- 

Governor De Neve Comes to Los Angeles. 73 

mandant general, De Croix. These latter were 
in the nature of an experiment, for they dif- 
fered radically from the missions of the Ca!i- 
fornias, in the respect that padres were forbid- 
den to direct the industrial efforts of the In- 
dians, or to exercise any form of temporal au- 
thority over them. De Croix, like many other 
civil and military officers of the provinces, 
viewed with mistrust the increasing power of 
the priestly orders, and he proposed to try here 
. a system that was more in accord with what 
he considered the legitimate function of the 
church. He was most unfortunate, however, 
in the locality that he selected for his experi- 
ment, the Colorado, or Yuma, Indians being 
fiercer and more treacherous than those nearer 
the coast. 

Letters written to De Croix by the priests 
stationed in this district were full of forebod- 
ings of disaster, but the commandant trans- 
lated these to mean that the restrictions on 
the temporal powers of the padres had ruffled 
their pride. When Rivera arrived at the set- 
tlement with his train of cattle, he laughed at 
the fears of the fathers. He judged these In- 
dians by those he had known along the coast, 
and, as if to show his contempt for the warn- 
ings, he sent all his soldiers on ahead, except 
a small bodyguard, and even turned back the 
detachment that the governor had sent down 
from San Gabriel to meet him. 

On the 17th of July the Indians attacked 
the settlement and the churches, slew all the 

74 History of Los AitgeUs. 

men except five, and captured the women and 
children, whom they held for ransom. The 
number killed is estimated at forty-six, among 
whom was Rivera, who died fighting bravely. 
Three months later De Neve sent an expedi- 
tion into the district headed by Pedro Fages, 
now returned to California as a lieutenant- 
colonel. The captives were ransomed, as it 
was found impracticable to attack the Indians. 
The attempt to colonize the Colorado river 
district was, however, abandoned. 

Much as he regretted the disaster, De 
Neve saw in it no reason for postponing the 
foundation of the pueblo of Los Angeles. On 
the 4th day of September, 1781, therefore, the 
expedition set out from San Gabriel, the gov- 
ernor leading the way in person, followed by 
a detachment of soldiers bearing aloft the 
banner of Spain. Then came the settlers, 
forty-four persons in all, eleven being men, 
eleven women, and twenty-two children of all 
ages. The plaza had already been laid out, 
and the boundaries fixed for the building lots 
that faced it. As they neared the selected spot 
a procession was formed, made up of the sol- 
diers, with the governor at their head, the 
priests from San Gabriel, accompanied by their 
Indian acolytes, then the male settlers, and, 
lastly, the women and the children, the former 
bearing a large banner with the Virgin Mary 
painted upon it. We may suppose this banner 
to have been loaned by the mission authori- 
ties, and it may have been the same one that 

Governor De Neve Coma to Los Angeles. 7S 

had SO miraculously brought the natives to 
submission when Padres Somera and Cambon 
first met them on the banks of the San Gabriel, 
ten years before. 

The procession marched slowly and im- 
pressively around the plaza, followed, no 
doubt, by the wondering gaze of the Indians 
from Yang-na, who had assembled for the 
event. When the circuit was completed the 
priests asked a blessing on the new city 
that was about to come into existence. 
Then Governor Felipe de Neve delivered 
a formal speech to the settlers, of which 
no report has come down to us, but which we 
may safely assume was full of excellent advice 
to the citizens, and of glowing prophecy for 
the pueblo's future. Prayers and a benediction 
from the padres concluded the ceremony, 
which was probably the most extensive and 
the most impressive that was ever held over 
the founding of an American city. The com- 
parison is easily made, for the reason that 
probably not more than a half a dozen Amer- 
ican cities ever enjoyed the distinction of be- 
ing really founded. The great majority of 
them merely happened. 

The Roster of 1781. 77 

bara is exactly "on the bias," and others of the 
older cities of Spanish America were laid out 
on this same plan, although some sections of 
them, built in later years, have grown entirely 
away from it. People from the eastern states 
are accustomed to speak of this arrangement 
as "peculiar" and "awkward," and they point 
with pride to their own cities, which are as 
severely accurate and regular as a demonstra- 
tion in Euclid. It is true that ninety-nine out 
of every hundred cities in the eastern states 
have their streets running to the cardinal 
points, the exceptions being those places — like 
Boston — that were never actually laid out, but 
that "just grew." To defend and to praise this 
plan, however, shows the easy triumph of con- 
ventionality over logic and good sense. The 
most charming guest that the householder can 
ever hope to bring into his home is the sun- 
shine, for it drives away disease, and instills 
cheerfulness and good health. Now if the 
streets are laid out exactly "on the bias," this 
glorious visitor can find his way, in his daily 
course, to every room in the house. If the 
streets are drawn straight with the points of 
the compass he is forever shut out from one- 
fourth of the domicile. Especially is this true 
in the great cities, where the buildings are 
huddled together in indecent proximity. Had 
the city of Chicago, for example, been orig- 
inally planned to lie as Santa Barbara does, 
who can say how many thousand lives might 
have been saved from the baleful ruin of diph- 

78 History of Los Angtles, 

theria and pneumonia, and how much suEFering 
from rheumatism and neuralgia might have 
been avoided? 

It is not unreasonable to suppose that De 
Neve, with his extraordinary grasp of detail 
and his keen insight, comprehended this law 
of health and sanitation, and planned the loca- 
tion of Los Angeles in accordance therewith. 

The original plaza must not be confounded 
with the existing park called by that name, al- 
though the latter grew, in a way, out of the 
former. The two tracts would touch, if marked 
out on the map, only at one corner, that is, at 
the northwest corner of the present plaza. The 
latter is an almost square piece of land, lying 
between Main and Los Angeles and Marches- 
sault and Plaza streets. The ancient plaza be- 
gan at the southeast corner of Marchessault 
and Upper Main (or San Fernando, as it has 
lately been named), near the Church of Our 
Lady of the Angels; its boundary continued 
along the east line of Upper Main almost to 
Bellevue, thence across to the east line of New 
High street, thence to the north line of Mar- 
chessault, and thence back to the starting 

Most of that area, save what is used for 
streets, is at the present time covered with 
adobes, and it has been so covered as far as 
the memory of man runs back. How did the 
first plaza come to be thus occupied, and by 
what peculiar chance have we this modern 
plaza near to the other, and yet not of it? 

The Roster of 17S1. 79 

There is no definite record of how this oc- 
curred, but it is not difficult to trace a prob- 
able course of events leading up to such a re- 
sult. When the building lots around the plaza 
were assigned to the settlers, the land at the 
southeastern end, which is the tract covered 
by the modern park, was kept for public build- 
ings and for a church. Land was so plentiful 
at that time that few people took the trouble 
to secure titles, and the boundaries esablished 
by such deeds as were executed were often of 
the vaguest character. The early adobe build- 
ings were not very substantial, and when the 
first residences of the settlers around the plaza 
went to pieces the new structures were pushed 
forward a little into the open space. We know 
this was true, for complaint was made from 
time to time that the plaza lines were becom- 
ing obliterated, and that its land was being 
seized by the adjoining owners. The warnings 
issued by the ayuntamiento, o- city council, 
were unheeded, and the gradual hitching for- 
ward process went on, each one endeavoring 
to outdo his neighbor, until none of the old 
plaza was left to tell the tale. 

There still remained, however, the space in 
front of the southeastern side, which had been 
used for the guard house, the granaries, and the 
council room. While the house builders did 
not hesitate to steal the park, they scarcely 
ventured to push the city out of the land it 
had in active use. Early in the century the 
church was located about where it now is, and 

80 History of Los Ang^eles. 

we may suppose that the space directly in front 
was kept open from a sense of decent religious 
observance. At all events, when people began 
to obtain titles from the ayuntamiento— a prac- 
tice which did not begin until about 1830— 
that body was careful not to give away the 
land to the southeast of the square, and out of 
that has grown the little plaza park of today. 

There were eleven families to be provided 
with building lots about the original plaza, and 
at the rate of four locations to the side, three 
sides were occupied, leaving the fourth for pub- 
lic use, as we have said. We are not told of the 
exact process by which these sites were as- 
signed, but as the fields for cultivation were 
drawn for by lot, it is reasonable to suppose 
that the same practice was employed in the 
division of the building sites. This being 
rather a delicate matter, it was probably at- 
tended to before Governor De Neve left the 
pueblo that day in September. 

A map has come down to us showing the 
exact location of most of the settlers. Three 
are left in doubt, because they had moved out, 
by request, before the map was made. 

Beginning at the western corner (New High 
and Marchessault), and making a circuit of 
three sides of the ancient plaza, let us see how 
the homes of the first families were located, and 
what sort of people they were that occupied 

First, at the corner fronting New High 
street came the home of Pablo Rodriguez, an 

The Roster of 1781. 81 

Indian, twenty-five years of age. His family 
consisted of an Indian wife and one child. 
Next adjoining was the home of Jose Vanegas, 
an Indian, twenty-eight years old, with an 
Indian wife and one child. He was the first to 
hold the office of alcalde, or mayor, in the 
pueblo, being elected to that honor in 1788, 
and re-elected in 1796. 

Next to the house of Vanegas a narrow 
street cut across at right angles to the plaza 
front, and then came Jose Moreno, a mulatto, 
twenty-two years of age, his wife a mulattress. 
This couple had no children. The fourth lo- 
cation on that side was taken by Felix or An- 
tonio Villavicencio, a Spaniard, aged thirty, 
with an Indian wife and one child. Around 
the north corner was an L-shaped lot, oc- 
cupied originally by one of the expelled set- 
tlers. Next came two lots across from and 
facing the public side, which were taken by 
the two other banished families. The exact 
order of these three is not known, but they 
are described as follows: Jose de Lara, a 
Spaniard, fifty years of age, with an Indian 
wife and three children; Antonio Mesa, a 
negro, thirty-eight years of age, with a mulat- 
tress wife and five children. At the east cor- 
ner was another L-shaped lot, taken by Basilic 
Rosas, an Indian, sixty-eight years old, mar- 
ried to a mulattress with six offspring. 

Coming now to the front that corresponds 
to Upper Main street, we have first Alejandro 
Rosas, an Indian, nineteen years of age, whose 

82 History of Los Angeles. 

wife is described as a "Coyote Indian" — which 
does not sound very promising — with no child- 
ren. Next came a vacant lot, the., a narrow 
street, and then the home of Antonio Navarro, 
a mestizo, i. e., Spanish-Indian halfbreed, 
whose wife was a mulattress with three child- 
ren. Lastly, coming back to the side of the 
public land, we have the residence of Manuel 
Camero, a mulatto, aged thirty years, with a 
mulattress wife and no children. He was 
elected regidor, or councilman, in 1789. 

Cataloguing this extraordinary collection 
of adults by nationality or color, we have; 
two Spaniards, one mestizo, two negroes, eight 
mulattoes and nine Indians. The children are 
even more mixed, as follows: Spanish-Indian, 
four; Spanish-negro, five; negro-Indian, eight; 
Spanish- negro- Indian, three; Indian two. 
Thus the only people of unmixed Caucassian 
race in the whole company were two Spanish 
men, on the purity of whose blood frequent 
aspersions were cast; and the only members 
of the coming generation with regular an- 
cestry were the two Indian children. 

There was one more member of this inter- 
esting party, a certain Antonio Miranda, who 
fell out by the wayside, at Loreto, and who 
probably never came to California. This is in 
one way regrettable, for we may believe, from 
the title bestowed upon him in the original 
catalogue, that he out-freaked all the rest. He 
is recorded in the list as a "Chino," which 
does not signify that he was a Chinaman, as 

The RosUr of ijSi. 83 

many writers have erroneously stated, but 
that he was a mysterious tangle of all kinds 
of available ancestry — "compounded of many 
simples," as Jacques says of his melancholy — 
and that his hair was curly. He had no wife 
extant, so the data is not at hand on which to 
form even a rough estimate as to what his one 
child was like. However, it suffices for us to 
note the facts that Miranda was no': a China- 
man, and that he was not of the Los Angeles 
party. A very fair ethnological composite was 
achieved, without the assistance of a "Chino." 
No information has reached us concerning 
the trades or lines of business of the various 
settlers, save that Navarro was a tailor. If 
Rivera obeyed orders in making his selection 
there was a blacksmith in the colony, and also 
a carpenter and a mason, but we do not know 
which members of the party filled these roles, 
nor, indeed, are we entirely sure they were 
filled. Little else is known of these early set- 
tlers beyond the few facts set down above. 
If there are any descendants of them now 
living in California, they are not known as 
such. The Los Angeles directory of 1901 fails 
to show anybody by the name of Vanegas, or 
Villavicencio, or Rosas, or Navarro, or Ca- 
mero, and only one Mesa. The names Rod- 
riguez and Moreno, which are common every- 
where in Spanish America, occur respectively 
five and twenty-six times in the directory. 

In the letters of the padres, these early set- 
tlers are generally referred to in terms of pity 

84 History of Los Angeles. 

and contempt. It was originally intended by 
De Neve that they should enjoy a form of self- 
government by choosing their own mayor and 
councilmen (alcalde and regidores), but no 
election was held during the first seven years, 
the town being under the guidance of a petty 
military official, who came afterwards to be 
called a "comisionado." Evidently the 
founder of Los Angeles and his successors in 
the governorship felt that people of such a 
sort could not be trusted to look after their 
own affairs. 

Work began with the building of houses 
around the plaza. The regulations required 
that within five years each settler must be pro- 
vided with a substantial residence built of 
adobe; but the first houses were made of light 
stakes driven into the ground, with poles 
stretched across for the framework, the whole 
thatched with tules and plastered with mud, 
much after the fashion of the Indian "wicky- 
ups." These were a sufficient protection 
against the rains of the first season, and before 
the wet months came again a number of adobe 
dwellings had been finished. 

The next undertaking was a communal one 
— the construction of a ditch to supply the 
pueblo with water for irrigation and for do- 
mestic use. A small dam was run out into the 
river at about the point where the Buena 
Vista street bridge now stands, and the water 
was carried over the line of the modern city 
zanja — the "zanja madre*' — to the fields, which 


The RoiUr of 17S1. 85 

lay along lower Alameda street, occupying 
the ground where the lumber yards and China- 
town now are. Here a planting was made of 
wheat, maize and vegetables, and a palisade 
was constructed to keep off the cattle and the 
thieving Indians. This palisade was presently 
replaced by an adobe wall, which enclosed 
the houses and some of the fields. 

During the first few years, those of the 
colonists who desired to attend church on Sun- 
day were compelled to travel all the way to 
San Gabriel ; but in 1784 a chapel was con- 
structed near the corner of Buena Vista street 
and Bellevue avenue. Other public structures 
completed in the first years were the town 
house, the guard house, and the granary. 

Before the city was six months old it was 
discovered that Rivera had made a sad mistake 
in some of the settlers he had selected ; and 
Jose de Lara, the Spaniard, and the two ne- 
groes, Antonio Mesa and Luis Quintero, were 
formally expelled on the ground that they 
"were useless to the pueblo and to them- 
selves." They went out, taking with them 
their families, and the number was thus re- 
duced by sixteen. Some years later Navarro, 
the tailor, was expelled for the same reason. 
He took up his abode in San Francisco, but a 
descendant of his was living in Los Angeles 
in 1840. 

In 1785 Jose Francisco Sinova, who had 
resided in California several years, applied for 
admission to the pueblo, and was taken in on 

86 History of Los Angeles. 

the same terms as the original settlers. By 
this time two of the sons of Basilio Rosas had 
grown up to citizenship, and Juan Jose Do- 
minguez, a Spaniard, had joined the little col- 
ony. The latter was given a special land 
grant by Governor Fages, De Neve's succes- 
sor, including what was afterwards known as 
the San Pedro, or Dominguez rancho, which 
has descended through his brother. Sergeant 
Cristobal Dominguez, to the heirs of that fam- 
ily at the present time. He is, therefore, the 
first tangible link between the ancient city and 
the modern. 



y M l' THE time of the founding of Los 
|l H Angeles, in the year 1781, there were 

MM n eight mission estabHshments in Cali- 
E^^d fornia. Within the next four years 
three more were added, making 
eleven in ail that came into existence under 
the supervision of Father Junipero Serra. San 
Buenaventura was founded in 1782. Santa 
Barbara and Purisima (near Lompoc in Santa 
Barbara county) were not founded until after 
the death of Serra, which took place in 1784, 
but as most of the details of their establish- 
ment had been planned by him, it is right that 
they should be included in the list of the eleven 
missions of Junipero Serra. The period cov- 
ered by this work was about sixteen years. 

In the three decades that followed ten more 
missions were founded, making twenty-one in 
all. No one of these was farther than a day's 
journey from the coast. They covered a 
stretch of seven hundred miles, averaging 
about an easy day's journey from one another. 
Through the first half century of California's 
existence these institutions occupy the center 
of the historical stage, the other elements — 
civil, military, communal or individual — serv- 
ing rather as accessories than as independent 

88 History of Los Angeles. 

actors. To obtain, therefore, a correct per- 
spective for the little pueblo of Los Angeles, 
whose founding we have just described, it 
will be necessary to examine into the unique 
social-religious system that was above and 
around it. 

Although this system was in full operation 
from San Diego to San Francisco less than a 
lifetime ago, with its long chain of prosperous 
institutions involving directly and indirectly 
about fifty thousand human beings, no rem- 
nants of it now remain, save the half-crumbled 
ruins of the buildings. These being, for the 
most part, constructed not of stone or of brick, 
as are the churches of Europ-e, but of half- 
baked clay, their ultimate complete destruc- 
tion is only a matter of a few years' time, un- 
less individual or government enterprise inter- 
venes to protect them. A local organization of 
Southern California, the "Landmarks Club," 
has checked the ruin of San Juan Capistrano 
and San Fernando, and is now devoting its en- 
ergies to San Luis Rey. Such of the buildings 
as are in proper condition and are suitably 
located are used for parochial institutions by 
the Roman Catholic church. Santa Barbara 
and San Gabriel are examples of establish- 
ments that have been in almost continuous 
use for church purposes since their founda- 

Unfortunately many of the missions 
were located in districts that are now too 
sparsely settled to support them as churches, 

The Mission System. 89 

and these have gone into utter ruin. San An- 
tonio de Padua, for example, which, not more 
than ten years ago was a handsome, sub- 
stantial structure, having been preserved ior 
church use up to that time, is now nothing 
but a stretch of ragged clay wall, which the 
rain and sun and wind will, in a few years 
more, completely obliterate. 

Of the human elements that entered into 
the system, the remnants are even fewer. The 
original Spanish Franciscans are gone — a few 
German Franciscans have taken their places. 
The Roman church is here — as it is every- 
where — but it holds now only a share ot the 
population, where in the mission days it held 
all except the few roving Indians oi the foot- 
hills. But the thirty thousand savage con- 
verts, the neophytes that gathered around 
the missions and served the fathers both as 
congregation for their spiritual ministrations 
and as toilers in the industrial development of 
the country — they have disappeared entirely 
as a class and almost utterly at a race. In the 
prosperous days of San Gabriel it embraced 
within the system of its industrial operations 
nearly two thousand Indians, and now not 
more than half a dozen Indian families can be 
found in that vicinity. Not only has the mis- 
sion system itself departed, but the elements 
that entered into it seem to have been de- 
stroyed, root and branch. 

Institutions that are planned for perma- 
nency and pass away usually rank as failures, 

90 History of Los Angeles. 

but the Franciscan missions of California 
were not as utterly valueless as the wreck of 
them would indicate. Their projectors had a 
certain purpose in view, viz., the Christianiz- 
ing and civilizing of the Indians — a worthy 
purpose, it must be conceded ; and if they man- 
aged to accomplish it, or if they came as near 
to success as others engaged in the same work 
elsewhere, then the mission system is not to 
be hastily condemned as a failure, notwith- 
standing the fact that it exists no longer, and 
its materials have fallen into decay. 

The question of the value of the missionsj 
and the wisdom and justice of their treatment 
of the Indians, has given rise to a great amount 
of controversy, with a variety of resultant 
opinions. The phrase "to civilize the savages" 
is easily written and glibly uttered, but when 
its full meaning is considered it will be found 
to contain one of the greatest of human prob- 
lems. It is of about the same order as the 
squaring of the circle, or the achievement of 
perpetual motion. The frontier proverb that 
"the only good Indian is a dead Indian" puts 
into rough and brutal form the experience of 
the English-speaking peoples that about the 
only way to civilize savages is to put an end 
to their existence. This may be done by the 
swift and simple process of slaughter, or by 
the slower and more complex plan of driving 
them from their lands into inevitable starva- 
tion. If neither of these plans is available, 
there still remain the white man's deadly 

The Mission System. 91 

vices. Now to make a fair judgment of the 
system employed by the padres with the Cali- 
fornia Indians — a judgment which with most 
of us will labor under the unsympathy of an 
alien blood and a different religious belief — 
it might be well to use as a basis of compari- 
son our own treatment of the Indians during 
a similar period of our development. Where 
are the Indian tribes that formerly held the 
land east of the Mississippi? Are they civil- 
ized or are they obliterated? Or, if the matter 
be brought nearer home, will the comparison 
be more favorable if we inquire into our meth- 
ods with the Mission Indians, after California 
became part of the union? It is a heart-break- 
ing story that has been told only too well by 
Mrs. Helen Hunt Jackson in "Ramona" and 
"A Century of Dishonor." Plainly these com- 
parisons are out of the question.. But while 
the Anglo-Saxon will plead guilty to his own 
failure to civilize the savages, and will even 
admit that he and they cannot live in the same 
neighborhood without the latter coming to 
destruction, yet he does not hesitate to pass 
judgment on the efforts of others. The Ameri- 
can historians that have handled the mission 
question have generally condemned the system 
employed by the padres with the Indians, al- 
though certainly no one of them would claim 
that the Anglo-Saxon has ever done the work 
any better. 

The process by which the mission system 
came into existence was a logical one. A 

92 History o/ Los AngeUs. 

couple of priests, accompanied by a small 
squad of soldiers go into a strange country, 
peopled only by savages, but having great agri- 
cultural and industrial possibilities. Of these 
possibilities the priests are thoroughly cogni- 
zant, by reason of the resemblance between 
the climate of the new country and that of their 
own. The demands of religion must be con- 
sidered first, and for that purpose a church 
building is to be constructed. Who will do 
the work? The soldiers will not; the priests 
alone cannot, and there are none others save 
the savages. The padres offer the natives 
little gifts of cloth and beads, and when their 
good will is established ask for their assistance 
in the work of erecting the church. This is 
frequently offered without the asking. Next 
comes the planting of crops for the support 
of the padres and of such of the natives as 
have worked faithfully at the building, for the 
Indian in his native state is always close to 
starvation. The cattle which the padres have 
brought with them must be cared for, so a 
few of the Indians are taught to ride horses and 
to serve as vaqueros. In the meantime the 
work of baptism and instruction in the rites of 
the church goes on, a little slowly at first, but 
more rapidly as the Indians learn that no harm 
comes of it. A series of buildings are con- 
structed, not only for church work and the 
use of the priests, but also to harbor the 
Christian Indians, the neophytes, as they are 
called, who, having lost caste among their own 

The Mission System, 93 

people for doing the manual labor of the white 
man, must be cared for by the padres and kept 
from backsliding into savagery. In this way 
the industrial system is gradually built up, 
each undertaking laid upon its predecessor 
with inevitable logic and seeming necessity. 

It is to be doubted whether any form of civ- 
ilization could have been worked out among 
these savages that did not rest upon some sort 
of an industrial base. Had the padres con- 
fined themselves, as De Croix and other civil 
governors advised, to the purely spiritual side 
of the work, and had the savages been allowed 
to continue in their indolence and degrada- 
tion, the religious instruction must have fallen 
on ears that would not hear. The Indians 
would inevitably have become involved in con- 
flict with the soldiers, from whom the padres 
with difficulty protected them, even under the 
mission regime ; the savages would have grown 
fiercer and more crafty, and in the end would 
have proved a barrier to the advance of civili- 
zation, instead of assisting its progress. The 
doctrine that the Evil One is always at hand 
to find work enough for the idle, applies as 
well to the savages as to the civilized man. 
The fathers understood this; there was plenty 
of work to be done, and they could see no 
reason why the Indian should not do his share. 

In the minds of these simple, earnest sol- 
diers of the church a law was a law, and was to 
be obeyed. Both religion and worldly wisdom 
required that the Indian should be controlled 

<H History of Los AngeUs. 

and made to work ; and the padres did not al- 
low any idle question of sentiment to interfere 
with this policy. If discipline was necessary 
they were prepared to administer it. They 
found the savages to be very like children, 
and the only form of discipline then in vogue 
for the child was the rod. If the Indian would 
not work he was starved and flogged. If he 
ran away he was pursued and brought back. 
His condition was not exactly that of a slave, 
as is sometimes charged. He was not sold 
from hand to hand, nor separated from his fam- 
ily, nor denied a considerable degree of lib- 
erty, if he did not abuse it by bad behavior; 
neither was he treated with wanton cruelty, 
nor put to death, except for some capital crime. 
His condition was rather that of an appren- 
tice bound to service for an indefinite period 
of years, and subject to the forms of discipline 
that were practiced upon apprentices all over 
the world at that time. He had stated hours 
of labor, usually not exceeding seven in the 
day, to which must be added three hours for 
religious exercises. His food and clothing 
were coarse and none too plentiful, but such as 
they were they improved upon the nakedness 
and semi-starvation of savagery. The condi- 
tions of life for the mission Indian varied, of 
course, greatly with the personal characteris- 
tics of the padres in charge of the estaolish- 
ment. Some of the superiors were hard and 
even cruel, and others kind and gentle. Some 
were successful in maintaining order without 

The Mission System. 95 

much punishment, and others believed in the 
lash for all offenses. At worst, the Indian's 
lot was somewhat better than slavery; at best 

it was happy though not very agreeable. 

It happens that on the question of the pad- 
res' treatment of the Indians we have plenty 
of other testimony than that of the priests 
themselves. The civil and military authorities 
were ready at all times to criticise the methods 
of the padres, and the reports filed with the 
viceroy and the commandant general by the 
governors show that affairs at the missions 
were subjected to a close scrutiny. It was 
hardly to be expected that any system of dis- 
cipline could be maintained over tens of 
thousands of ignorant savages without afford- 
ing occasional instances of harsh treatment or 

The mission system may be properly 
charged with the mistake of over-discipline, 
which brought two bad results ; the one of oc- 
casional cruelty to the Indians and the otlier — 
more serious in the long run — of failing to 
make the natives independent and self-sup- 
porting. It remains to be proved, however, 
whether any form of policy would have accom- 
plished the latter object. The charge that 
there was great mortality among the Indians 
under this system is true, but a large death 
rate is to be expected whenever savages are 
required to change from out-of-door freedom 
and nakedness to the civilized form of life. 

On the other hand, it must be recorded to 


History of Los Angeles. 

the credit of the mission system that order was 
established and maintained among a horde 
of degraded savages scattered along six 
hundred miles of frontier; that the men were 
taught agriculture, irrigation, cattle-raising, 
leather-working, carpentry, milling, building, 
blacksmithing, the care of horses, and many 
other useful pursuits; and the women were 
taught to cook and sew and weave, and were 
protected through girlhood and decently mar- 
ried to men of their own race or to the Span- 
iards; that an industrial community was cre- 
ated in each mission center, to redeem the land 
from an otherwise complete worthlessness and 
sloth; that the padres, almost without excep- 
tion, led moral lives, setting an example of de- 
cency and sobriety not only to the Indians, but 
also to the white settlers ; and, lastly, that the 
whole mission undertaking was founded in the 
beginning on a conscientious devotion to the 
teachings of Christ, and was carried on by the 
fathers with sincere motives, and according to 
their best judgment. 

• ■■■c r r . '^'*' . 



|HE provisions under which each set- 
tler received his allotment of a build- 
ing site and a piece of farming land 
was that within three years he should 
have a good adobe house constructed 
and the land cleared and that within five years 
he should have some chickens, a fair crop of 
corn or wheat growing and a good farm equip- 
ment. Not until the five years had passed was 
he to receive anything like a title to his land, 
and even then he would not be allowed to sell 
or mortgage, the king being the real owner 
and the colonist rather in the nature of a 

There is reason to believe that these con- 
ditions were not entirely complied with by all 
the colonists ; nevertheless, De Neve's succes- 
sor, Pages, in 1786, thought best to issue the 
so-called titles, and he sent Jose Arguello, af- 
terwards governor of the province, to perform 
this service. Arguello appointed two witness- 
es from the guard of soldiers at Los Angeles, 
one of them being Corporal Vicente Felix, who 
was an important factor in the city's aflfairs at 
this time. Summoning all the settlers to his 
presence, Arguello presented each one of the 
nine with : First, a deed to his house lot ; sec- 
ond, a deed to his farm land; and third, a 

98 History of Los Angeles, 

branding iron, by which he was to distinguish 
his stock from the others'. These nine settlers 
were the original eleven, minus De li^ra, Mesa 
and Quintero, expelled for general uselessness, 
and plus Sinova, the emigrant picked up in 
California. Twenty-seven documents were 
thus distributed, for a description of each 
branding iron went with the implement, all 
signed by Arguello and his witnesses, and 
adorned with the "X, his mark," of the settler, 
for not one of the nine could write. In the 
case of the house lots, each location was de- 
scribed with reference to the plaza, showing 
that a rough survey had been made, and a map 
was filed with Arguello's report to the gov- 
ernor of the transaction. The location of the 
fields is left somewhat vague, the assumption 
being that each one knew about where his own 
land was, anyhow. 

During the next four years considerable in- 
crease took place in the population, the new- 
comers being chiefly soldiers who had served 
out their time. Some of these were married 
to Indian wives, but others were attracted to 
Los Angeles, no doubt, by the fact that a num- 
ber of girls were growing up in the families 
there, who would in time be ready for mar- 
riage. By 1790 the number of households had 
increased from nine to twenty-eight, with a 
total population of 139. All of the original set- 
tlers who had received titles from Arguello re- 
mained, except one, Rosas, who had departed 
for San Jose. On the other hand, Los An- 

EigMeeHlk-CeHtury Los Ani^Us. 99 

geles had received one emigrant from San 
Jose, a certain Sebastian Alvitre, who, for 
nearly twenty years, enjoyed the reputation 
of being the worst man in the province of Cal- 
ifornia. Most of the reports from the com- 
isionado at Los Angeles to the governor, 
during this period, contain somewhere the in- 
teresting item of news that Alvitre is in jail 

Among the names of the twenty new set- 
tlers there are several that are now common 
in Los Angeles; such, for example, as Figue- 
roa, Garcia, Dominguez, Pico, Reyes, Ruiz, 
Lugo, Sepulveda and Verdugo. 

No selection of an alcalde seems to have 
been made prior to 1788. Corporal Vicente 
Felix acted as general manager of the colony 
and arbiter of all disputes up to that time. 
The settlers found fault with him continually, 
and on one or two occasions formal complaint 
was lodged with the governor, but no change 
was made ; on the contrary, Felix was present- 
ly given the title of "comisionado," and ad- 
vised by the governor to make it his business 
to see that the laws were obeyed and good or- 
der maintained, although the pueblo had by 
this time an alcalde and two regidores, or 
councilmen, who were supposed to be the local 
administrative, judicial and legislative au- 

Jose Vanegas, one of the original settlers, 
was the first alcalde, Jose Sinova the second, 
and Mariano Verdugo the third. The list from 

100 History of Los AngtUs. 

1790 to 1800 runs as follows: Francisco 
Reyes, Jose Vanegas (re-elected), Manuel 
Arellano, Guillermo Soto, Francisco Serrano 
and Joaquin Higuera. Through all these ad- 
ministrations Felix continued to hold author- 
ity, as the real representative of the governor, 
and the court of last appeal. Theoretically, 
the pueblo was entitled to local self-govern- 
ment, but practically it was under military 
control — that is, as far as it was controlled at 

The records of the pueblo during this epoch 
are decidedly meager. In 1790 the fact is 
noted in the reports that the colonists of Los 
Angeles grew a larger crop of grain than any 
of the missions except San Gabriel. The 
amount is given as 4500 bushels, which does 
not seem large when it is divided by the num- 
ber of heads of families— say 150 bushels to 
the settler. Most of this was corn. In 1796 
it was nearly twice as large. By i8oc the crop 
had increased so far beyond local needs that 
a proposition was made by the pueblo to sup- 
ply 3400 bushels of wheat annually for the 
market at San Bias at a price of $1.66 per 
bushel. This is especially significant in view 
of the fact that De Neve had advocated the 
founding of the pueblo because wheat was 
being imported from San Bias to supply the 
soldiers in California. In 1797 there was a 
drought, and only 2700 bushels were grown. 
About this time the governor sent down word 
that land must be assigned to every head of 


Eighteeuth'Century Los Angeles* ■ .- >101 

a family in Los Angeles, and that each Q»e 
must be required to do his share of the culti-. 
vation. Fences were ordered constructed, so 
that cattle would not get into the grain, and 
each settler was compelled to subscribe three 
bushels a year to make up a fund for the city's 

Horses and cattle increased with consid- 
erable rapidity. In 1790 there were 3000, and 
in 1800, 12,500. Sheep numbered 1700. A 
provision in the original regulations of the 
pueblo as drawn up by De Neve forbade the 
ownership of more than fifty cattle by any one 
person. This was for the purpose of prevent- 
ing monopoly. It seems to have suffered the 
usual fate of legislation of that order, and was 
never observed. It had developed by this 
time that a man might have an abundance of 
cattle and yet be poor. In the annals of San 
Gabriel mission, in the year 1795, it is recorded 
that a man who was known to be the owner 
of 1000 horses came over from the pueblo to 
beg for a piece of cloth to make a shirt, as 
there was none to be had in Los Angeles. In 
an official price list published by Governor 
Fages we find the value of an ox or cow put 
at $5 ; of a sheep, $1 to $2 ; of a chicken, 25 
cents; of a mule, $14 to $20, and of a well 
broken horse at $9. An attempt was made 
during Fages* time to arbitrarily fix the price 
of wheat at $1 a bushel. The value of horned 
cattle could hardly have been so great at this 
time as it was a quarter of a century later, 

102'.V"-' History of Los Angeles. 

• • •• 

jpvhen the Yankee traders began to frequent 

/.'t-bc coast to buy up hides and tallow. 
."•'1/ During the decade from 1790 to 1800 the 
•. ''.•population of Los Angeles increased from 
thirty to seventy families, from 140 people to 
-. 315. By this time it had become the custom 
to send the superannuated and invalided sol- 
diers from the various presidios to Los An- 
geles to end their days in its mild climate. In 
the census of 1790 there is a division of citi- 
zens by age, and out of eighty adults nine were 
over 90 years old, which is an extraordinary 
percentage. This same census gives the divi- 
sion of nationality as follows: Spanish, 72; 
Indians, 7; mulattoes, 22; mestizos, 30. The 
increase in the number of Spanish (which 
probably includes those of Spanish descent 
born in America) shows the large part now 
played by the army in the colonization ; for the 
soldiers detailed in California up to this time 
were largely brought over from Spain, where- 
as the colonists from Mexico were, as we have 
seen, of mixed descent. 

Los Angeles at the end of the eighteenth 
century consisted of about thirty small adobe 
houses, twelve of which were clustered around 
an open square, and the remainder huddled in 
the vicinity, without much system as to loca- 
tion. The houses were near together, not be- 
cause land was scarce or valuable, but for so- 
ciability and for mutual protection against 
thieving Indians. Most of the new houses 
were to the southwest of the plaza, where are 

Eighteenth'Century Los Angeles. 103 

now Buena Vista and Castelar streets. To the 
north and east lay the lower land, and the 
space reserved for the public buildings. These 
latter consisted of a town house, where all the 
public business was transacted ; a public gran- 
ary, a jail, and the barrack, where the small 
detachment of the army that was assigned to 
Los Angeles: Vicente Felix, the comisionado, 
and his three or four men, had their head- 

The houses were one-story affairs, fre- 
quently containing but one room. The roofs 
were constructed of poles, thatched with tules, 
and at first plastered with mud; later brea 
was discovered in the fields to the west of the 
town and used for roofing material, as it is to 
this day. As the rafters had but little slope, 
considerable rain must have found its way into 
the houses in wet weather. Glass was un- 
known, the small windows closing with a shut- 
ter, if at all. The few pieces of furniture were 
crudely constructed of poles and strips of raw- 

No attempt was made to keep the yards 
about the houses in decent sanitary condition, 
much less to make them beautiful. There 
were no flowers nor shade trees, except here 
and there a sycamore, that may have escaped 
the searchers for firewood, or a few wild blos- 
soms in the springtime. Cattle were slaugh- 
tered for food right in the house yards, and the 
remains of the carcasses thrown about. The 
sole scavengers were dogs and chickens and 

104 History of Los A»gele$. 

the birds provided by nature for that purpose. 
In the summer time the roads and paths about 
the houses were deep in dust, which every 
passing horseman stirred up for the wind to 
drive through open windows and doors. 

There does not appear to have been any 
planting of fruit trees until near the end of 
the century, when Governor Borica sent word 
to the authorities that orchards and vineyards 
should be set out and protected from cattle by 
fences and walls. The irrigating ditch was 
frequently neglected, until there was danger 
at one time that everything would dry up and 
die; so the governor ordered extensive and 
permanent repairs to be made. A great deal 
of the hard labor of the farms and households 
was done by Indians, who had been half civil- 
ized and half educated at the mission of San 
Gabriel, and who found life at the pueblo 
easier and more entertaining. Some of these 
worked the farms on shares, which gave the 
settlers plenty of time to attend cock fights 
and play the guitar. 

The padres who came over from San 
Gabriel to take charge of the religious wel- 
fare of the citizens complained bitterly of the 
idle and worthless lives led by most of their 
parishioners. There was no school in Los An- 
geles, nor any attempt at instruction of the 
young. In 1784 an ex-soldier named Vargas 
opened a school in San Jose, and a few years 
later he was summoned to San Diego by a 
raise in salary — $250 a year was the improved 

Eighteenth-Century Los Angeles 


figure — but Los Angeles did not put in a bid. 
A mail was carried to and from Mexico once 
a month, covering a distance of 3000 miles over 
the Camino Real or King's Highway, but as 
almost none of the settlers could read or write 
postal facilities were little used. There was 
a good deal of disorder of a mild type — 
drunkenness, quarreling and occasional fights 
— ^but murder seems not to have been frequent. 
The soldiers acted as policemen, and a guard 
was maintained night and day. 

Foreign vessels were not allowed to visit 
the coast, and there was very little trade or 
commerce of any kind. Such as there was 
remained largely in the hands of the padres at 
San Gabriel, and was carried on through the 
port of San Pedro, where some years later a 
warehouse was constructed for the use of the 

This description seems to be carrying us 
back into the Middle Ages, and yet it was only 
one hundred years ago, in the administrations 
of Washington and of John Adams, the time of 
Pitt and Burke, and of Napoleon and Goethe. 

108 History of Los Angeles. 

membership, or it may have been that he re- 
garded this as a usurpation of power on the 
part of Serra, which it was his duty to inquire 
into; at all events, finding no record anywhere 
of the granting of such a privilege, he wrote 
a courteous letter to Serra, asking him the 
source of his authority. Serene in the con- 
sciousness that he was well within the law, 
and actuated, perhaps, by a very human wish 
to humiliate the governor, Serra paid no at- 
tention to the summons and continued with the 
ceremony of confirmation. Thereupon De Neve 
issued an order suspending all future confirma- 
tions, and in a letter entirely free from animus 
or personal feeling, he reported to De Croix, 
the commandant general of the provinces, 
what he had done. De Croix learning, in the 
meantime, either from the viceroy or from the 
College of San Fernando, that Serra had in his 
possession the documents showing his right to 
confirm, wrote to the ecclesiastic, and in- 
structed him to deliver them to De Neve, and 
put an end to the controversy. But Serra had 
taken occasion to send the documents down to 
the College of San Fernando. Why? Our 
admiration for this conqueror of the wilder- 
ness is so great that we hesitate to accuse him 
of a trivial or ignoble act, yet his conduct 
through this whole affair is exactly that of a 
man seeking liy every small device to put a 
conspicuous humiliation upon a rival in power. 
Tf that was his purpose he certamly failed, be- 
cause De Neve was too great as a man, and 


In the Spanish Province, 109 

too dignified as a ruler to notice the effort. 
In due course of time the papers were re- 
turned and submitted to the governor; where- 
upon he withdrew his order, acting both then 
and thereafter with even, unruffled courtesy 
toward Serra and the other priests. 

De Neve's successor was Pedro Pages, a 
frank, good-hearted soldier, of no great intel- 
lectual attainments, but conscientious in the 
discharge of his duty. He served from 1782 to 
1790. It will be remembered that Pages ac- 
companied the first expedition sent out by 
Galvez to colonize California, and that he suc- 
ceeded Portola as military ruler of the upper 
province. His removal from that position was 
caused through the influence of Serra, and it 
was scarcely necessary for De Neve to warn 
him, as he did in a formal state document, that 
the civil authority must be protected from the 
encroachment of the priests. He was, how- 
ever, by no means so well qualified to hold his 
own in controversy with the padres as was De 
Neve, a fact which is well illustrated in the 
circumstances that attended the founding of 
Santa Barbara and Purisima missions. 

These establishments had been planned by 
Serra, and would have been founded before 
the close of De Neve's term but for the dis- 
agreement between the governor and the pad- 
res regarding them. De Neve's estimate of the 
mission system shows in his desire to establish 
pueblos and permanent fortified camps, and in 
his determined efforts at civil colonization. 

no History of Los Augeies. 

He seems to have regarded this industrial de- 
velopment among the Indians, with its 
hierarchical foundation, with suspicion and dis- 
trust, and although he manifested no hostility 
toward the establishments that already existed 
he was loth to assist in the upbuilding of new 
ones. He offered no objection to San Buena- 
ventura, which was part of the original plan 
devised before his administration, but his in- 
fluence was felt through the commandant gen- 
eral and the viceroy in the arrangements for 
the other two missions of the channel — ^Santa 
Barbara and Purisima. The regulations drawn 
up for the founding and management of these 
two institutions provided that the natives were 
not to be brought in from their villages by 
force, nor were they to be kept at the mission, 
except for a limited term and a few at a time. 
This was. in effect, an interdiction on the 
whole industrial scheme — which the Francis- 
cans would not tolerate, their contention being, 
as we have seen in a previous chapter, that un- 
less they could control the daily life of the In- 
dians it was impossible to civilize them. De 
Ncvc agreed to provide plenty of soldiers to 
shield the fathers from harm, and he expressed 
some well-bred doubts as to the efficacy of a 
conversion that could be achieved only 
through material means. In the end, there 
was a deadlock, which is possibly what De 
Ncvc anticipated and desired. The padres re- 
fused to serve at the new establishments, and 

in the Spanish Province. HI 

the governor maintained bis position, in spite 
of their refusal. 

But when Fages was governor, and after 
the death of De Neve, the question was re- 
opened, and by some means the padres car- 
ried the day. In 1786 the two new missions 
were founded, and their plan of operation was 
exactly like that of the other establishments. 
The issue was never raised again, and all of 
the ten remaining missions followed the orig- 
inal plan. 

The successor of Fages, on the latter's res- 
ignation in 1790, was Jose Antonio Romeu, 
who served as governor only two years, dur- 
ing most of which he was an invalid. During 
his administration two more missions were es- 
tablished, making thirteen in all. The new 
establishments were Santa Cruz and Soledad, 
the latter situated about thirty-five miles south 
of Monterey. On his death, and after a short 
interregnum, came Diego de Borica, who held 
the office until the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. He was a prudent, politic man, fa- 
mous for his wit and comradeship, but indus- 
trious and capable. His attitude toward the 
padres and the mission system, while not par- 
taking of the far-sighted doubcs of De Neve, 
was no less independent and firm. He was 
also an advocate of the pueblo plan of coloniza- 
tion, and the Villa of Branciforte was founded 
near Santa Cruz mission during his adminis- 

112 History of Lot Alleles. 

On the death of Serra, Fermin FranctKO 
Lasuen succeeded to the presidency of the mis- 
sioas. Point Fermin at San Pedro was named 
in his honor, a fact that should set at rest the 
question of its spelling, which has been vari- 
ously written by map-makers and govern- 
ment engineers as Fermin, Firmin and Finnen. 
After the death of 5erra, mission development 
was allowed to Bag somewhat during the ad- 
ministration of Pages and Romeu, but shortly 
after Borica came into office it was taken up 
with new vigor. In 1797 three missions were 
founded, San Jose, San Juan Bautista and 
San Miguel, The following year two more 
were added, San Fernando, near Los Angeles, 
and San Luis Rey in the San Diego district. 
This made a total of eighteen. All of these 
institutions were in a fairly prosperous condi- 
tion, averaging about six hundred and fifty In- 
dians and three thousand cattle to each estab- 
lishment. At the end of Borica's term the mis- 
sions were producing an aggregate of 75,000 
bushels of grain, of which about three-fifths 
was wheat. There was much complaint at 
this time of the ill treatment of the Indians 
by the padres, which, in some cases, was 
clearly substantiated, and the necessary reform 

In his effort to found the new pueblo of 
Branciforte — named in honor of the viceroy 
then administering the government of Mexico 
— Borica was confronted by the same difficulty 

In the Spanish Province, 113 

that beset De Neve, and his enterprise met 
with even a poorer degree of success than his 
predecessor's. It was one thing to draft ex- 
tensive regulations for the governing of a 
pueblo, but quite another to find the people to 
occupy it. We do not know that Borica ever 
paid a visit to Los Angeles, but he certainly 
inspected San Jose, which was only a short 
distance from the capital at Monterey; and 
he was probably not much impressed with the 
outlook there, for he announced his purpose 
to build adobe houses for the settlers at Bran- 
ciforte before they were asked to emigrate 
thither, lest they should follow the example 
of the colonists at the other pueblos and live 
in miserable tule-thatched huts. The mother 
country being involved in a war at this time 
he was obliged to devote all his energies to the 
coast defense, and the projected architectural 
greatness of Branciforte failed to come to pass. 
A few settlers were secured from Mexico, of 
about the same type as those of San Jose and 
Los Angeles, but the new pueblo presently be- 
came a refuge for transported convicts and 
other birds of the same feather, and in the 
end achieved the worst reputation of all the 
settlements of early California. 

One of the chief difficulties in the coloniza- 
tion of California was the absence of women. 
Men came as soldiers and adventurers, but no 
women came, save those that were already 
married to the settlers of the pueblos. Gov- 

114 History of Los Angelei. 

ernor Borica repeatedly urged the viceroy to 
send a shipload of healthy, respectable youn^ 
women to become the wives of the male set- 
tlers. The request was never complied with, 
whence we may infer either that women were 
scarce in Mexico or that they were unwilling 
to experiment with this extra hazardous form 
of the matrimonial lottery. 

The Spanish land grant system in Califor- 
nia had its beginning about the time of the 
founding of Los Angeles, and the first tracts 
taken up were in the vicinity of that city. 
Shortly after Fages became governor, appli- 
cation was made to him for a grant of land 
to be used for stock-raising, and he applied 
to the commandant general for instructions. 
He was told that he might give land to individ- 
uals in areas not to exceed three leagues 
square, so located as not to interfere with the 
rights of any existing mission or pueblo. The 
grantee was obliged to improve the place and 
put stock upon it, and to set up landmarks 
showing its extent. Under this arrangement, 
in 1784, the San Rafael ranch was granted to 
Jose Maria Verdugo, a tract which was de- 
scribed as across the river and four leagues 
distant from Los Angeles. In the same year 
Manuel Nteto received all the land between 
the Santa Ana and the San Gabriel rivers, 
from the sea to the hill land. The adjoining 
tract on the east side of the Santa Ana was 
given to Antonio Yorba in 1810. In 1784 Fages 

In tkt Spanish Province. 115 

granted to Juan Jose Dominguez the tract 
along the ocean at San Pedro and up the es- 
tuary half way to Los Angeles. Lastly, at 
about the same time, the Enema ranch, a tract 
northwest of the city, was granted to Fran- 
cisco Reyes, but this was later, in 1797, taken 
away from him and given to the new mission 
of San Fernando, founded at that time. The 
fact that the Encina grant was revoked with- 
out any apparent protest on the part of its 
owner, notwithstanding that he had made im- 
provements upon it, evidences the uncertainty 
of the tenure as well as the small value at- 
tached to land at that time. 



HE FIRST decade of the nineteenth 
century, which was for Europe a time 
of storm and stress, was for California 
a period of complete calm and quiet, 
and for Los Angeles — as far as the 
record shows — almost utter oblivion. During 
the second decade of the century, when peace 
and order were restored in Europe, the 
troubles of California began, culminating in 
182 1 in the revolution that made this a Mexi- 
can, instead of a Spanish province. 

The Napoleonic wars, which tore the map 
of Europe to tatters, were scarcely noticed in 
this far-off corner of the world, and yet some 
of the effects that followed those wars bore 
heavily upon California. Although Napoleon 
was for a considerable period in complete con- 
trol of Spain, with his brother Joseph on the 
throne, the performances of the Corsican 
were regarded only with horror and aversion 
by the Spaniards in California, and prayers 
were regularly offered for the restoration of 
Fernando to his rightful possessions. But 
when the monster was safely caged, and the 
frightened monarchs were creeping back to 
their seats, the king of Spain returned to find 
the ancient colonial empire undermined by 
neglect and tottering to its fall. By 1810 the 

Exit Spain. 117 

rebellion of Mexico was well under way, and 
by 1815 the spirit of revolt had spread up and 
down the South American coast. At the end 
of the second decade of the century it was 
practically all over, and Spain's American pos- 
sessions were reduced to Cuba and a few 
smaller islands. 

On the resignation of Borica in 1800, Jose 
Joaquin de Arrillaga succeeded him as gov- 
ernor of California, and his rule extended 
through to 18 14. He was a man of fair abili- 
ties and good intentions, but he lacked in en- 
ergy and perseverance. It is charged against 
him by some writers on this period that he 
was dominated by the padres, but this docs not 
seem to be borne out either by his deeds or his 
utterances, although he exerted himself some- 
what more than his predecessors to keep on 
good terms with the mission authorities. 
There was ample justification for this policy 
in the conditions that had now come to pre- 
vail, for the wealth, energy and industry of the 
whole province seemed to center in these insti- 
tutions. The pueblos had been in existence a 
quarter of a century, and their development 
seemed to have come to a dead halt. In the 
ten years from 1800 to 18 10 the population of 
Los Angeles increased only from 315 to 365. 
Its flocks and herds diminished during that 
period, and its crops showed no particular im- 
provement. Conditions at San Jose were even 
less promising, and as for Branciforte, it would 

118 History of Los Angeles. 

appear from the accounts that come down to us 
from all sources that the more it gained in 
population the more disreputable and worth- 
less it became. The pueblo plan of coloniza- 
tion apparently was not a success. 

The missions, on the other hand, continued 
to increase in people and in the fruits of their 
toil. There were now about 20,000 Indians at 
work in these establishments under the guid- 
ance of padres who were as thrifty and intelli- 
gent in temporal matters as they were devout 
and conscientious in spiritual. Each mission 
was a veritable hive of industry, and the com- 
bined products of the whole system, small at 
first but presently increasing, represented 
whatever of wealth and prosperity there was to 
the credit of the province. The time was now 
almost at hand when this was to be demon- 
strated by an unquestionable form of proof: 
viz., the missions were to support the govern- 
ment of the province. Possibly Arrillaga fore- 
saw this contingency, and was preparing for it. 
At all events he interfered but little with the 
affairs of the padres, and in all his acts seemed 
to favor the mission plan of government for 
the natives. 

The events of the decade, 1800 to 1810, that 
are of record relating to Los Angeles, are so 
brief and meager as easily to be told. In 
1805 the first American ship, so far as known, 
came to San Pedro. It was the Lelia Byrd, 
Captain Shaler, which in previous years had 

Exit Spain. 119 

hovered about the coast, and after a trip to the 
Hawaiian islands now returned to California 
and ran into the harbor of Avalon, in Catalina. 
In his account of the voyage Shaler says that 
he found the island inhabited by about one 
hundred and fifty Indians, who were very 
friendly. After repairing his vessel he came 
across to San Pedro, where he obtained sup- 
plies in the shape of hogs and sheep, paid for 
in Yankee manufactured products. This was 
probably the first tastq the people of Los An- 
geles had of the contraband trade, for all trade 
with foreign ships was contrary to law. But 
from this time forth Yankee traders came 
often to San Pedro, at first in search of otter 
skins — an animal that has since been practi- 
cally extermniated in this region — and later 
for hides and tallow. 

Another mission was founded in 1804, this 
being the nineteenth. It was located at Santa 
Ines, in Santa Barbara county. About this 
time there was some discussion over the estab- 
lishment of a mission on Catalina island, but 
a severe attack of the measles among the In- 
dians of the channel left Catalina almost with- 
out population, and the project was abandoned. 

In 1806 a new form of agricultural industry 
was taken up, in the growing of hemp, an ar- 
ticle for which there was a good demand from 
Spain. It was found that the labor required for 
its culture could be readily obtained from the 
Indians, and many of the colonists at the pueb- 

120 History of Los AngeUs, 

los and presidios abandoned wheat and took up 
hemp. The product rapidly increased from 
only 1850 pounds in 1806 to 12,500 in l8c^, 
89,000 in 1808 and 120,000 in 1810. By this 
time the crop was paying the growers over 
$20,000 a year, which was an enormous sum for 
the time and the region. Suddenly the demand 
ceased and nearly 100,000 pounds of the last 
crop was thrown back on the hands of the 
growers. The revolution had broken out in 
Mexico; Spanish trade was interrupted, and 
the colonists lacked the energy and intelligence 
to open new opportunities for its transporta- 
tion. In the midst of the furore over hemp- 
growing, which prevailed more actively at Los 
Angeles than anywhere else in the province, 
an interesting question of the legal status of the 
neophyte as a laborer developed — a sort of a 
California Dred-Scott case. The settlers had 
obtained one hundred neophytes from the mis- 
sion of San Juan Capistrano to labor in their 
hemp fields, but they were, for some reason, 
recalled by the mission authorities. The Los 
Angeles people thereupon besought their al- 
calde to issue a writ commanding that the neo- 
phytes be turned over to them, and the affair 
thus came up to the governor and the presi- 
dent of the missions. It was held that the col- 
onists had no right to the labor of the neo- 
phytes, if it was against their will to work at 
Los Angeles, which it must have been assumed 
was the cause of their return to San Juan. It 

Exit Spain, 121 

was furthermore held that the neophytes were 
entitled to religious instruction and care, which 
they could not receive at the pueblo. 

During this decade there was some trouble 
between the San Fernando padres and the peo- 
ple of Los Angeles on the question of the use 
of the water of the Los Angeles river. The 
padres were accused of diverting some of the 
water by means of a dam above the Cahuenga. 
It was held by the governor that all the water 
in the river belonged to the colonists, and that 
if the dam constructed by the padres interfered 
with the pueblo's supply it must be removed. 

In 1805 there was a pest of locusts that de- 
stroyed a large part of the crop ; and in 1807, 
and again in 1809, there was a dry season. Al- 
though weather reports were sent in from vari- 
ous parts of the province to the governor, and 
were made matters of record, it is impossible 
to say what the actual rainfall was, because 
rain guages were then unknown in this region. 

Through most of this period Sergeant Ja- 
vier Alvarado acted as comisionado and main- 
tained order as best he could. His reports 
show that gambling, drunkenness, and all 
forms of bad behavior were largely on the in- 
crease. Each year an alcalde and two regi- 
dores were elected, the three forming a sort of 
a town council that enjoyed considerable dig- 
nity, but not much power. 

We come now to the period from 1810 to 
1820, which was the era of the rebellion in 


122 History of Los Angeles. 

Mexico, culminating at last in the overthrow 
of the Spanish power and the establishment of 
the Mexican empire with Iturbide at its head, 
this to be followed almost immediately by the 
Mexican republic. Through this long contest 
California sided with Spain against the rebels, 
giving the mother country, however, no as- 
sistance, save an insubstantial moral support. 
The yoke of Spain had never rested very 
heavily upon the Spanish province. The sup- 
pression of commerce and of business enter- 
prise brought about by Spain's antiquated and 
illiberal methods, while it strikes the modem 
reader as quite intolerable, was a matter of 
small consequence to these idle and thriftless 
people. The higher officials and the padres 
were, almost without exception, Spaniards by 
birth, and conservatives by training and incli- 
nation. A few seditious documents found 
their way into the province, but they were 
promptly seized and destroyed; and until the 
official announcement finally reached Mon- 
terey that the revolution was complete, no one 
of consequence in California believed that the 
rebels could succeed. 

There was, however, one very tangible 
piece of evidence presented, by which these 
far-off loyalists might have known that some- 
thing serious was happening. The pay and 
supplies for the army, for the padres and for 
the governor and his civil staflF came to a sud- 
den end with the year 1811, and in spite of a 

Exit Spain, 123 

vast amount of hoping and longing and pray- 
ing, they never came again. The annual pay 
roll of the army and civil list in California 
footed up to nearly $80,000, to which must be 
added supplies sent each year, or purchased 
from the missions with drafts on the Spanish 
authorities at Mexico, at a cost of $20,000 
more. The total sum, therefore, was over 
$100,000. The revenues of the country 
amounted to barely $12,000, which was used 
in its entirety for other forms of local expense. 
The province was still on the wrong side of 
the ledger, as far as Spain was concerned. 

This was the beginning of an era of hard 
times for California, and they grew harder 
and more desperate as the years passed with 
no relief. Even the Spanish trading vessels 
failed to come to the coast, fearing the Mexi- 
can and South American, privateers, and the 
only chance for Californians to sell their pro- 
ducts, or to buy what they needed, was 
through contraband trade with foreigners. 
This was the commencement of open com- 
merce with American ships. 

Something had to be done to supply the 
army with food, and the local government 
with cash, so the governor turned to the mis- 
sions. They had plenty of wheat and live 
stock, and not a little coin put away in their 
strong boxes. He would pay for everything 
with drafts on Spain through the Mexican of- 
fice, to be presented whenever this war with 

124 History of Los Angeles. 

the rebels was over. The padres objected and 
complained a good deal at iirst, but in the end 
they came to regard it as a proper sacrifice to 
their patriotism and their veneration for "His 
most Catholic majesty." At the close of the 
epoch, the good padres held over $400,000 
worth of drafts^ — utterly valueless save as me- 
mentoes of a duty bravely performed. 

In 18 14 Arrillaga died and was succeeded 
by Pablo Vicente de Sola, a Spaniard and an 
officer of the royal army. Although Spain 
could not afford to pay her soldiers nor pro- 
vide supplies, she was still able to fill the of- 
fices of the province. Of all the Spanish gov- 
ernors of California, Sola was the one least 
qualified for the work, and the position came 
to him at a time when it was surrounded by 
difficulties. He was ill-natured, peevish and 
fussy, and was possessed of an exalted idea of 
his own importance. 

In 1818 a hostile movement was under- 
taken against California, coming not from the 
rebels of Mexico, but from a privateer of 
Buenos Ayres, where also there was a rebel- 
lion in progress against Spain. The expedi- 
tion, which consisted of two vessels, was led 
by a Frenchman named Bouchard, who was 
generally spoken of by the Californians as a 
pirate. He attacked Monterey, which he cap- 
tured and destroyed. Three of his men were 
there taken prisoners, one of whom was 
Joseph Chapman, the first American resident 

Exit Spain 


of the Los Angeles region. Bouchard then 
came south, landing near Santa Barbara, 
where he sacked the Ortega ranch house, and 
at San Juan Capistrano, where he visited the 
mission and captured some wine and brandy. 
This ended the episode, which was California's 
only active experience with the rebellion. 

In the month of March, 1822, a vessel ar- 
rived from Mexico, bringing official notice to 
the governor that the Spanish power was at 
an end in Mexico, and that Iturbide was on 
the throne as emperor. Sola immediately 
summoned a gathering of the principal offi- 
cers of California, including the president of 
the missions. It was decided to take the oath 
of allegiance to the new government, and 
await further developments. Spain had been 
practically dead, as far as California was con- 
cerned, for ten years, and the change of gov- 
ernment involved no disturbance in material 
affairs, and probably but little shock to the 
sentiments of the people of the province. 





OTWITHSTANDING the hard times 
inflicted upon California by'the Mexi- 
can rebellion, the pueblo very nearly 
doubled its population in the decade 
from 1810 to 1820, and in the next 
decade very nearly doubled again. In iSio 
there were about 350 people in and around Los 
Angeles, and by 1830 this number had grown 
t6 over 1200. The holders of land grants in 
the vicinity of the pueblo regarded themselves 
as citizens, and, indeed, they were under 
the jurisdiction of the town council, or ayun- 
tamiento, with reference to their local affairs. 
In this respect Spain and Mexico followed the 
ancient Roman custom, whereby the town 
governed the surrounding country. 

This growth came largely from the natural 
increase of families. Life in the pueblo, al- 
though primitive, and without many elements 
of luxury, or even of comfort, from a modern 
point of view, had the one great advantage 
that starvation was well nigh impossible, even 
to the most improvident. There was an abund- 
ant supply of land for cultivation, and Indian 
laborers were cheap and plentiful. Cattle 
roamed over the plains in such vast numbers 
that the price of meat was almost nothing. 
On the ranches it was not required of a man 

The Pueblo Begins to Grow, 127 

that he should actually work to obtain sub- 
sistence; all that was necessary was that he 
should "hang around." Under such easy con- 
ditions of life there would be a natural ten- 
dency toward a rapid increase of population, 
and large families, or at least a large birth 
rate, was the rule in California during this pe- 
riod. This was, however, partially offset by 
the extremely unsanitary methods of living 
that prevailed, the absence of medical knowl- 
edge, and the frequent incursions of smallpox 
and other malignant disorders. 

Los Angeles still continued to serve as the 
"Soldiers' Home" of this military district, al- 
though, as the army was now recruited largely 
from the province, there was no gain of Span- 
ish population from this source. The only im- 
migration received from Mexico was of a most 
unsatisfactory character. A shipload of 
foundlings and orphaned children from the 
asylums in the City of Mexico was accepted in 
Los Angeles without any serious objection, 
but when the viceroy, and afterwards the 
Mexican republic authorities undertook to 
make this region a dumping ground for crim- 
inals, and introduced "transportation to the 
Californias" as a form of punishment for the 
worst offenses, the various governors pro- 
tested with great vigor; and while they were 
not able to prevent the occasional shipment of 
a few undesirable characters, the practice was 
never carried out on a wholesale scale. Those 
who did come, however, devoted their perni- 

128 Hiftory of Los Angeles. 

cious energies to the work of demoralizing the 
whole community, and the success they 
achieved must have given them a high degree 
of satisfaction. 

Land for actual cultivation, either in or 
near the pueblo, was to be had almost for the 
asking, and yet a list of land owners and of 
landless persons in Los Angeles district made 
out by the local authorities in 1816 shows that 
a considerable element of the population was 
entirely willing to get along without assuming 
the burden of ownership. Out of a total <H 
ninety-one heads of families seven were own- 
ers of large ranches or grants in the vicinity 
of the city; twenty were bona fide land own- 
ers in the pueblo, and twenty-four worked the 
commons. The latter had claims which, in 
due course of time, matured into ownership. 
This left forty to be entered as landless. Of 
these, twenty-five are said to work for others 
on their land, and the remaining fifteen sim- 
ply existed. They are oppressed by no acres 
of their own, neither will they toil for anyone 
else. Happy fifteen I It is a hard commen- 
tary on the character of the city's poulation 
a* that time that four-ninths, or nearly one- 
half, lacked the energy to attempt farming on 
their own account, even under such favorable 
conditions, and that one-sixth had to be 
classed as no account at all. 

Among land owners at this time we find 
only one of the original settlers of Los An- 
geles, Manuel Camero, the mulatto. There 

The Pueblo Begins to Grow. 129 

is a son of Navarro, the tailor, and a descend- 
ant of Basilio Rosas. The names of the other 
original colonists fail to appear anywhere in 
the list. This is only thirty-five years after the 
founding of the pueblo. 

The instructions issued by Borica, near 
the close of the century, that the colonists 
should set out vines and fruit trees, seem to 
have been obeyed, at least as far as vines were 
concerned, for by 1817 there were over 100 
acres of vineyard in and about the pueblo, 
and the manufacture of wine and brandy had 
begun on a considerable scale. Indeed, a few 
years later, the mission authorities complained 
to the governor that the citizens were being 
demoralized by this pursuit, as their local pa- 
triotism and their desire to patronize home in- 
dustry caused them to consume a large part 
of the product, and drunkenness was in a fair 
way to be set up as a civic virtue. 

In the year 1817 appears the first record of 
a school in Los Angeles city. It is possible 
that instruction may have been attempted for 
a short period prior to this time, but evidently 
not with much success, or some one would 
have made note of the fact. Governor Sola 
believed in education, and promoted the es- 
tablishment of schools in all parts of the 
province. Not content with organizing a 
boys' school at Monterey, he even established 
a school for girls, which was a radical depart- 
ure that must have caused a vast amount of 
wonder and foreboding. 

130 History of Los Angeles. 

The school at Los Angeles lasted only 
about a year, to be followed by a vacation of 
ten years. It was in charge of a retired sol- 
dier named Maximo Pina, who received $140 
a year for his services. We have no detailed 
description of the school or of its master, but 
it is reasonable to suppose that it was of the 
same general character as the schools in the 
other towns at this time. Those at Monterey 
were fully described by some of the scholars 
after they had grown to manhood. The pic- 
ture they present is a horrible one, but there 
is no reason to suppose it overdrawn. The - 
teacher was almost invariably an old soldier, 
brutal, drunken, bigoted, and, except that he 
could read and write, ignorant. The school 
room was dark and dirty, and the pupils all 
studied aloud. The master's ferule was in 
constant use, even for blots on the writing pa- 
per or mistakes in reading. Serious offenses, 
such as laughing aloud or playing truant, or 
failure to learn the doctrina (catechism), were 
punished by use of the scourge, a bundle of 
hempen cords, sometimes having small iron 
points fastened into the ends of the lashes. 
It was a horrible instrument, that drew blood, 
and, if used with severity, left a scar for life. 
The only volumes used for reading were the 
books of religious formulae, which the pupils 
used cordially to hate all through their later 
life, for the torments of scourging they re- 

In most of the Roman Catholic countries 

The Pueblo Begins to Grow. 131 

of Europe, schools were first organized 
through the church, and throughout the 
middle ages the clergy were almost the only 
learned class. It is a matter for natural com- 
ment and surprise that in the half century of 
mission activity in California nothing was 
done by the Franciscans for the cause of edu- 
cation. Why were no schools for the colon- 
ists opened at any of the misions, or, if that 
were not feasible, why did not the padres, who 
were, for the most part, fairly well educated, 
exhibit some interest in the schools opened by 
the settlers in the pueblos? Their attitude on 
this important question seems not only repre- 
hensible, but it is even difficult to explain. We 
may suppose that the padres considered their 
undivided energies were due to the Indians, 
for whose conversion the order had set up 
these establishments in the wilderness; but 
such reasoning does not, of course, justify 
their attempt to ignore the thousands of peo- 
ple of their own race and nationality that had 
come into the province. 

The year 1812 was signalized by a series 
of earthquakes all over California. The roof 
of the principal church building at San Juan 
Capistrano fell in, crushing forty neophytes. 
This structure, although large and imposing, 
was probably not built to stand much of a 
strain. The buildings at Purisima were de- 
stroyed, and at San Gabriel some small damage 
was done. Los Angeles escaped uninjured, 
there being no two-story buildings as yet. 

132 History of Los AngtUs. 

In 1815 there was an excessive rainfall and a 
flood. The Los Angeles river left its bed and 
moved over toward the pueblo, running along 
San Fernando street to Alameda, and thence 
past the town. In 1825 came a still greater 
flood, when the river returned to its original 
channel — its present course — leaving an un- 
derground flow that came up in marshy 
springs on the Avila place, near the present 
site of the Kerckhoff-Cuzncr mills. The worst 
part of the freshet came in the night time, and 
the roar of the water so terrified the people 
that they left their homes and went up on the 
hills above Buena Vista street. Prior to 1825 
there had been considerable woodland between 
the city and the ocean, which the flood de- 
stroyed by cutting a definite channel for the 
river and draining the marshland where the 
trees grew. 

In 1812 work was begun on a substantial 
and permanent church structure for the city of 
Los Angeles, which was located somewhere 
east of the Plaza. The formal laying of the 
corner stone took place in 1814, but when the 
river left its channel in 181S the governor ad- 
vised that the location be changed to higher 
ground, and the site of the present Plaza 
church was chosen, it being city ground, ad- 
joining the original Plaza, and in close prox- 
imity to the other public structures. Here in 
1818 the church building was begun, 500 cat- 
tle being subscribed by the citizens to defray 
the expense. At $5 apiece, this would amount 

TTu Pueblo Begins to Grvw. 133 

to $2500 in cash, which, considering the tow 
price of labor, ought to have carried the work 
well toward completion. We note in the rec- 
ords, however, that the governor took over 
the cattle to be used as supplies by the army, 
and agreed in return to include the construc- 
tion of the church in his next year's budget of 
expense. As the territorial government was 
entirely bankrupt, and was dependent on the 
missions for support that was half charity and 
half blackmail, this plan of Sola's presents in 
itself just ground for suspicion; and the latter 
is increased by the fact that operations on the 
church came to a sudden standstill the next 
year, nor were they renewed until the padres, 
in response to an appeal from the president of 
the missions, subscribed seven barrels of bran- 
dy, worth $575, to the building fund. In 1821 
the work halted again, and a second appeal 
was made to the padres, and more brandy 
was subscribed. A number of cash subscrip- 
tions were made by the well-to-do colonists 
in all parts of the state, after Governor Sola 
had set the example. The conversion of the 
brandy into cash, drink by drink, was accom- 
plished with the enthusiastic co-operation of 
the citizens of the pueblos. December 8, 1822, 
the building was dedicated with appropriate 
ceremony. The present Plaza church struc- 
ture was built in 1861 out of the original struc- 

The change from a royal province to a ter- 
ritory in the Mexican republic meant very lit- 

134 History of Los Angtln. 

tie to the people of Los Angeles. There were 
a few slight changes in their political institu- 
tions — theoretical, rather than actual. Cali- 
fornia was now entitled to a representative in 
the Mexican national assemblage, to be elected 
by a local legislative body. Sola, who was anx- 
ious to be rid of the governorship, was chosen 
to represent the state in Mexico, and Liiis Ar- 
guello was elected to fill the gubernatorial of- 
fice. Los Angeles was represented in this- — 
which we may call the first legislature of Cal- 
ifornia — by Jose Palomares. In the second ses- 
sion, Jose Antonio Carillo, also of Los Ange- 
les, was made a member. Palomares was 
probably elected by the people, and Carillo 
appointe.l by the body itself. 

The Los Angeles ayunlamicnto was en- 
larged by the addition of a syndico^ — treasurer 
and counselor — and a secretary. These, in ad- 
dition to the alcalde and the two regidores, 
made a deliberative-admini.stralive body of 
five. It was to be known hereafter as "Muy 
Ilustre" (verj' illustrious), and was to be sur- 
rounded with dignity and ceremonial. A gen- 
tle hint was presently thrown out to the comi- 
sionado that under the new order of things he 
lagged superfluous on the municipal stage, but 
it seems to have failed to take with Guillermo 
Cota. who was in charge of the local military. 
A clash of authority soon took place, the ques- 
tion of who was who went up to the governor, 
and he proceeded to rap the "very illustrious" 
over the knuckles. Order must be maintained 

The Pueblo Begins to Grow, 


ill the pueblo, and the governor's representa- 
tive should not be interfered with. A compro- 
mise was at last effected, by choosing Cota as 
the alcalde. Thus the civil authority finally 
absorbed the military. 

Whether it was due to the spirit of revolu- 
tion in the air, or to the increasing importance 
of local offices, about this time Los An- 
geles began to have trouble in municipal poli- 
tics, with frequent election disturbances. In 
1826 the election was ruled illegal, and ordered 
to be held over again ; and in 1830 the returns 
were thrown out, on the ground that all the 
candidates were "vagabonds, drunkards and 
worse." Slow and stupid as the government 
of Spain had been, it was at least stable and 
dignified. That of Mexico, on the contrary, 
changed so constantly that it made itself ri- 
diculous. In the era of revolution and local 
disturbance that was now beginning, Califor- 
nia merely followed the example of the home 




jJALIFORNIA was a Mexican territory 
about a quarter of a century. The 
new oath of allegiance was adminis- 

tered on the nth of April, 1823, and 

on the 7th of July, 1847, the American flag 
went up over the old fortress at Mon- 
terey. During that period, eight regu- 
larly appointed governors administered the 
affairs of the territory (not to men- 
tion half a dozen irregular and self- 
appointed ones), and their terms varied from 
six months to six years. If we except the 
first of the list, Arguello, who was really in- 
herited from the Spanish regime, every one of 
these governors had to contend with local re- 
bellions during his term, and three were driven 
out of the country by revolution. One of the 
eight was a usurper, who seized the government 
without the shadow of a claim, rebelled from 
Mexico, set up an independent state of Cali- 
fornia, and was not only pardoned by the Mex- 
ican authorities, but, in the end, was regularly 
appointed to the position and allowed to serve 
out a considerable term. 

To understand the disturbed condition of 
California diiring this epoch, it is necessary to 
bear in mind the demoralization that prevailed 
in the governing country, through its incessant 
revolutions and political plotting. Although 


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Th€ Epoch of Revolutions, 137 

California took, no direct part in Mexican poli- 
tics, but made haste to swear allegiance to 
whatever power came out on top, there was a 
natural undermining of the respect for author- 
ity, and a disposition to follow the bad example 
set at headquarters. 

Party lines were drawn to some extent in 
California. The party division that prevailed 
in Mexico was modeled after that of 
the United States; which was logical 
enough, considering that the Mexican 
constitution was based on the Amer- 
ican. The names, however, were not exactly 
the same. The opposing parties in Mexico 
were the Federalists and Centralists, the 
former representing the liberal idea, with a 
considerable element of local self-government, 
and the latter the conservative, with a strong 
central government, a large army, and a lean- 
ing to the Roman Catholic church. In Cali- 
fornia the great majority of the people were 
Federalists. Too far from the capital to par- 
ticipate in the home government, they were 
naturally in favor of local institutions, and of 
the party that would cherish them. 

The pueblo of Los Angeles was the storm- 
center for revolutions during this period. 
Most of the plots for the overthrow of one 
governor and the setting up of another had 
their birthplace in Los Angeles, and the chron- 
ic conspirators who, at irregular intervals, 
would work up a new scheme for making trou- 
ble, were, with a few exceptions, residents of 

Ll 11' 

TTie Epoch of Revolutions. 141 

In the spring of 1832, Jose Figueroa was ap- 
pointed to succeed the luckless Victoria. He 
was the best of all the governors sent up from 
Mexico, and he managed to hold the office dur- 
ing three years with only one rebellion, and 
that a trifling affair. A few gambling vaga- 
bonds of the Los Angeles district assembled at 
the ranch house of Los Nietos, in the spring 
of 1835, and drew up the customary pronuncia- 
mento, but they failed to secure a decent fol- 
lowing, were seized, thrown into jail, and final- 
ly sent out of the country. 

In the fall of that year Figueroa died, and 
there followed him, after a short interregnum, 
the worst governor that California ever had, 
Mariano Chico, a Mexican politician who had 
to be "taken care of" by the administration 
then in power. He was a coarse, ignorant fel- 
low, of violent temper, filled with hatred of 
foreigners, and contemptuous of local institu- 
tions and customs. He began his administra- 
tion with a row with the people of Los An- 
geles. A citizen by the name of Feliz had been 
deserted by his wife, and when he undertook 
to bring her back, he was set upon and killed 
by the woman and the man with whom she had 
eloped. The murderers were captured and 
thrown into jail in Los Angeles, but a mob 
broke open the place, took them out, and, after 
a hasty trial, shot them to death. This is the 
first instance in California of the lynching of 
white malefactors. Indians were sometimes 
treated after this fashion for running off stock. 

142 History of Loi AngeUi. 

Now it happened that the man who had been 
killed was a fellow countryman of Chico, and 
the governor flew into a terrible rage against 
the people of Los Angeles. He ordered the 
arrest of the principal officers of the city, and 
threatened them with death. His courage 
seems to have failed him at the critical moment 
of the trial, however, and they were all par- 
doned with a reprimand. 

When Chico had been in office about six 
months, and had succeeded in alienating all 
classes of society, he had an undignified alter- 
cation with the principal alcade of Monterey, a 
very popular man, whom he insulted and then 
degraded from office. The next day the capital 
began to fill up with armed and mounted men. 
Day by day they increased in number, coming 
from greater and greater distances, until the 
place was invested with a band that seemed 
ready to take control at a moment's notice. 
Chico understood what it meant; he came from 
a country of revolutions, and when the legisla- 
ture suggested that as more soldiers were need- 
ed for him to maintain order, perhaps he had 
better go back to Mexico and get some, he lost 
no time in taking the hint. 

Gutierrez, being next in command, under- 
took to manage affairs until a new governor 
should be appointed ; but the taint of the policy 
of Chico hung over his actions, and before two 
months had passed a new revolution was under 
way. It was led by a young man named Juan 
Bautista Alvarado, who, at this time, was an 

The Epoch of Revolutions, 143 

accountant in the custom house, and was the 
idol of the native element. Gutierrez had in- 
sulted and threatened the youth, using the 
manner of language that he had learned from 
Chico— and with the same result as befell 
the latter. Alvarado went out among the peo- 
ple and soon gathered a small army, with 
which he descended upon Monterey and drove 
Gutierrez into the presidio. The governor had 
removed all the powder from the armory, so he 
thought himself free from artillery attack, but 
Alvarado's men opened a number of musket 
cartridges, and, using the powder thus ob- 
tained, they managed to put a ball through the 
roof over the governor's head. He promptly 
capitulated, and went the way of Chico. 

Alvarado was rather a unique character. 
He was born in Monterey, and at the time of 
his revolutionary experience was 27 years of 
age. His success in waging war against the 
incumbent seems to have been accepted by all 
the Californians as a legitimate title to the gov- 
ernorship, and in December, 1836, he formally 
entered upon the duties of the office. As he 
could not claim to represent Mexico, whose ap- 
pointee he had driven from the territory, he an- 
nounced himself governor of the "Free and 
sovereign state of California." But this effort 
at independence proved to be only a flash in 
the pan. The people looked askance at it, and 
there were immediate mutterings of rebellion 
in the direction of Los Angeles. The ayunta- 
miento of that city presently came out with a 

144 Hiitory of £j>s AngeUt. 

Statement to th« effect that while they were 
ready to accept Alvarado as governor.his term 
should last only until Mexico could appoint, 
and, moreover, that a recent declaration of the 
governor in favor of independence and of toler- 
ation for other religions than that of the Ro- 
man Catholic church was entirely at variance 
with their views. , 

Alvarado hastily gathered a force of men 
and marched south to San Fernando. A con- 
ference was held with the Los Angeles forces, 
and Alvarado accepted the conditions laid 
down by the rebels. What he wanted at the 
time was to get himself firmly seated in the 
chair of the governorship, and then the future 
might take care of itself. In October of the 
same year, 1837, news came that Carlos An- 
tonio Carrillo had been appointed governor, 
Alvarado refused to turn over the capital to 
him, and when Carrillo raised an army at Los 
Angeles and San Diego, and started for the 
north, the governor sent his chief of staff south 
with a considerable force to intercept them. 
The battle^so-called — ^took place at San 
Buenaventura ; one man was killed and the 
southern army was routed. The engagements 
of these revolutionary times consisted chiefly 
in the discharge of artillery at safe range. Car- 
rillo abandoned his claims, and the Mexican au- 
thorities seem to have decided that the easiest 
way to get rid of Alvarado was to accept him 
as governor. Possibly they figured that the 
Califomians would soon tire of him, and throw 

TAe Epoch of Revolutions. 145 

liim out; but if this was their idea, they were 
wrong, for he served his term of five years with 
credit to himself and advantage to the territory, 

Alvarado resigned of his own accord in Jan- 
uary, 1842, and was succeeded by Emanuel 
Michel torena, a Mexican general, who was 
chiefly noted for the infamous gang of cut- 
throats and adventurers that he brought up 
with him in the guise of soldiers. They were 
popularly known as "Micheltorena's Lambj." 
These creatures became at length intolerable, 
and a revolution started in the north, with Al- 
varado at its head, to drive them out of the 
country. This culminated in another of the 
bloodless battles, the location being at Ca- 
huenga — for Los Angeles had taken an active 
part in the final uprising. Micheltorena left 
the country, by request, in February, 1845, 
having served as governor three years. 

The last of the governors under Mexican 
rule was Pio Pico of Los Angeles, who held 
the office until the American occupation. He 
was involved in constant difficulties with Cas- 
tro, the commander of the military forces, but 
no revolution took place during his brief ad- 
ministration, save that of the change of control 
from Mexico to the United States. 



|HE MOST important event of the per- 
iod of the Mexican governors was the 
destruction of the mission system. 
This took place in the year 1834, dur- 
ing the administration of Figueroa. 
The dissipation of the mission properties fol- 
lowed hard upon the overthrow of the system, 
and by the time of the American occupation 
the ruin was complete. 

In spite of the demands made upon the 
missions for supplies and money for the army, 
during the period of the rebellion from Spain, 
the establishments continued to prosper, and 
when the Mexican governors cast about them 
for means to run the territorial government, 
they could find no better plan than to follow 
the example of their Spanish predecessors. 
The Mexican congress was very liberal with 
its promises and appropriations, but the treas- 
ury was always empty. Government by revo- 
lution is an expensive luxury. At one time 
every cent that could be raised was required to 
put down a rebellion, and a little later, the 
other side being then in power, the money was 
all needed to pay off the patriots who had 
just saved the country. So California was left 
to look out for itself. There was some revenue 
from the customs duties, but it fell far short of 

'='■ ■m—^10*/^ 

The Ruin of the Missions. 147 

the sum required to maintain the army and 
the civil list. The missions made up the defi- 
cit, which varied in amount from $30,000 to 
$50,000 a year. 

One would suppose that the authorities, 
both in California and Mexico, would be dis- 
posed to look with extreme leniency upon an 
institution possessed of such hard-cash vir- 
tues ; that they would, in other words, hesitate 
to kill the fowl that laid the golden tgg. That 
this view was held by the first governors un- 
der the Mexican rule is shown in their treat- 
ment of the padres who refused to take the 
oath of allegiance. When word was sent to 
Mexico that Sarria, the president of the mis- 
sion system, had declined the oath, orders 
came promptly back to send him down to be 
tried for treason. In one way and another 
this order was evaded, together with the in- 
structions that came later from the home gov- 
ernment calling for the expatriation of all 
priests who were not loyal to the Mexican re- 
public. The priests denied that they were dis- 
loyal, in the sense of wishing evil to the exist- 
ing government, but they objected to the oath, 
on the ground that they were made to promise 
to bear arms against the enemies of Mexico, 
which was contrary to their clerical vows. And 
more than one of them declared that he was 
tired of taking so many oaths of allegiance to 
the changing forms of government in Mexico, 
and that the whole performance seemed friv- 
olous and undignified. In the end several of 

148 History of Los AngeUs. 

the padres were sent out of the country, but 
only those whose opposition to the new order 
of thing? was open and vehement. 

"We cannot send these priests away," said 
Echeandia, the second of the Mexican ^vern- 
ors, "because we shall then have nobody to 
manage the missions, which are the basis of 
our supplies." 

But while the padres had this advantage 
over the local government, that they were 
needed as producers, the governors had on 
their part a most effective weapon in the threat 
of secularization or the seizure of the temporal 
possessions of the missions. In 1813, when the 
territory was still under Spanish control, the 
cortes, or national assembly of the mother 
country, passed an act declaring that the mis- 
sions of California should be converted into 
parish institutions: that is, mere churches for 
spiritual instruction, with no industrial fea- 
tures. This decree was never carried out, and 
its legality, after the transfer to Mexico, might 
be questioned, but it was a suggestion to the 
padres of what would come to pass if they 
failed to support the local government, 

Arguello, the first of the Mexican govern- 
ors, complained, in 1825, in a report to the 
Mexican authorities, that the Indians were 
practically slaves, and that no progress was 
being made in bringing them nearer to civili- 
zation. This latter statement was probably 
true. The Indians had been living under tht 
mission system now for about half a century. 

The Ruin of the Minions. 149 

While they were an improvement over the or- 
iginal savages from an industrial point of view, 
as they toiled faithfully under the guidance of 
the padres, and produced large crops, they 
were far from being civilized, and had made 
no progress in the last quarter of a century. 

Possibly as a result of Arguello's com- 
ments instructions were issued to his success- 
or, Echeandia, to make a careful study of the 
condition of the Indians, and to report to the 
home government on the question of seculari- 

Echeandia saw fit to exceed his authority, 
and, not content with a mere report, he drew 
up and made public in California a plan for 
the emancipation — as he regarded it— of the 
Indians. In 1830 he had this plan adopted by 
the Cahfornia legislature (diputacion), but as 
neither that body nor the governor had any 
authority to carry it out, it was never put into 
practice. Some of its more important provis- 
ions were incorporated in the plan adopted in 
1834 by Figueroa, under instructions from the 
Mexican congress. 

The publication of Echeandia's scheme for 
taking the Indians away from the missions 
and establishing them in pueblos showed the 
padres very clearly what they were to expect. 
Several who were then in trouble over the 
question of the oath of allegiance hastily left 
the country, but the majority determined to 
stay and fight it out. It is charged that even 
at this early date they began to regulate the 

ISO History of Los AngeUs.\ 

affairs of the missions with a view to the prop- 
erty ultimately passing into alien hands — that 
they sold off stock where they had an oppor- 
tunity, or converted it into hides and tallow. 
It is certain that they followed this policy to a 
considerable extent in the last year or two, 
before the decree of secularization finally went 
into effect. They would scarcely have been 
human had they failed to do so. It is to be re- 
corded to their credit, however, that they 
made no effort to get the money thus obtained 
out of the country, but used it either for the 
purchase of supplies for the Indians, or laid it 
by against the time they saw was soon com- 
ing, when the mission properties would fail to 
support them and their wards. 

Victoria, who succeeded Echeandia, was 
friendly to the padres and the mission system. 
He denounced the proposed plan of seculariza- 
tion as a scheme to despoil these useful estab- 
lishments and dissipate their property. 

There is little doubt that when Figueroa 
was sent to California by the Mexican author- 
ities he understood what was expected of him, 
and that he was himself a sincere advocate of 
the plan of secularization. He was an honor- 
able man, however, and, as a rule, clear- 
headed, and it is safe to say that if he could 
have foreseen the rascality this plan would 
bring into play — the destruction of the In- 
dians and the demoralization of the forces of 
the church — he would never have given it 

The Ruin of the Missions, 151 

The Mexican congress passed the first for- 
mal decree of secularization in 1833. The 
missions were to become parish churches, 
their property, with the exception of a small 
tract, 600 feet square, to be divided among the 
Indians and any other settlers that might 
choose to take it up. Provision was made for 
a bishop for the territory. The expense of 
maintaining these churches and the bishopric 
was to be met by drafts on the "Pious Fund." 

It will be remembered that when the 
Jesuits founded the missions of Lower Califor- 
nia, in the latter part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, they raised a considerable fund for their 
maintenance. The investments of this fund 
passed into the hands of Mexico, with the suc- 
cess of the rebellion from Spain. The annual 
income of the fund at this time was about $50,- 
000, but no payments had been made to the 
California missions since about 18 10. To draw 
on a fund originally subscribed for missionary 
work to pay for parish establishments was evi- 
dently illegal, but not more so than the fre- 
quent borrowing from this fund by the Mexi- 
can government, and its ultimate complete 

Figueroa transmitted the decree of the 
Mexican congress to the local legislature with 
a message in which he declared his belief 
that the missions were "intrenchments of 
monastic despotism." The governor had a 
strong humanitarian sentiment, and was pos- 
sessed, moreover, of some Indian blood; and 

1S2 History of Las Angeles, 

the stories he had heard of the harsh treat- 
ment of the neophytes by the padres aroused 
in him a bitter prejudice. He little suspected 
how much worse a fate he was preparing for 
ihe unhappy Indians. 

The first decree was found to be incom- 
plete, and a year later the Mexican congresB 
acted again, and the California legislature fol- 
lowed. Commissioners were appointed for 
each of the missions, whose duty it was to 
take an inventory of the stock, utensils and 
real estate of each, to inform the Indiana that 
they were free, to distribute the land among 
the neophytes much after the manner in 
which it was distributed to the settlers of the 
pueblos, and to appoint in each establishment 
a major-domo, who shouhl see that the Indians 
were kept in order, and their riphls respected 
by the padres. Seed corn and farming uten- 
sils were to be given to the Indians, and they 
were to be urged to go to work and support 

The commissioners set out in the month of 
August, 1834, and, under their stupid, and fre- 
quently corrupt, mismanagement, the mar- 
velous mission system of California, which 
it had taken half a century of industry, self- 
sacrifice and pious devotion to build up, was, 
within an incredibly short period of time, 
thrown down and broken to fragments. It is 
perhaps questionable whether any plan could 
have been devised by which the Indians, 

The Ruin of the Missions, 153 

whose daily life and occupation had been con- 
trolled by the padres as though they were chil- 
dren, could have been made independent and 
self-reliant, but scarcely any policy could 
have been worse than the one adopted. The 
commissioners, instead of asking the advice 
and co-operation of the padres, treated the lat- 
ter as though they were a band of robbers, 
whose booty was about to be wrenched away. 
The Indians were called together, and in- 
formed with dramatic gusto that they were 
free, and might go where they pleased — a 
privilege which they translated to mean idle- 
ness and debauchery. Thousands of them 
ran away to the mountains and relapsed into 
savagery. Others wandered about from one 
mission to another, and finally brought up in 
the towns or on the ranches, where they 
worked for small pay, part in cash and part in 
brandy. The effort to form them into pueblos 
was an almost complete failure. If land was 
given them they made haste to sell or mort- 
gage it, and to put the proceeds into liquor. 
And all this was due not so much to the innate 
depravity of the race, nor to the teaching of 
the padres — incomplete and impolitic as that 
may have been — as it was to the shock of the 
sudden release from all bonds of restraint, and 
to the poverty and wretchedness that fol- 

The property of the missions, the stock, 
lands, utensils, and finally the buildings them- 
selves, all melted away through the combined 

154 HUtoryXof Los A»gtl§s. 

incompetency and corruption of the adminis- 
trators. The cattle were slaughtered in great 
numbers, or were driven off to neighboring 
ranches ; the lands were sold at low figures or 
given out in grants. The industrial buildings 
were looted, and then left to fall into decay. 

The census of the later years of mission rule 
showed for the tweaty-one establishments 
(San Rafael, 1817, and San Francisco Solano, 
1823, are now to be added to the list) a total 
of 30,000 neophytes, 420,000 cattle, 60,000 
horses and mules, 320,000 sheep and hogs, and 
an annual product of about 40,000 bushels of 
grain. At San Gabriel, which was one of the 
richest of the missions, there were nearly 100,- 
000 cattle, and in two years none were left. 
The plain for miles in every direction was cov- 
ered with the rotting carcasses, so that a pesti- 
lence was feared. 

Left to themselves, and utterly dazed at the 
fall of the establishments in which they had 
been reared, the Indians planted no crops; and 
the government, which had come to depend 
upon the mission supplies, found itself in an 
awkward case. The commissioners declared 
that nothing could be done with the Indians 
except through coercion, and thus presently 
there came to be a tacit understanding that the 
.major-domos, or overseers, were somehow to 
bring the neophytes back to their industrious 
ways. This meant a renewal of the flogging 
practices at which the authorities had mani- 
fested so much horror when the mission sys- 

The Ruin of the Missions, XSS 

tern was in force. Then came dreadful stories 
of Indians beaten to death, and of women and 
children allowed to starve, of the frequent 
shooting down of Indians by the white colon- 
ists, and of misery and degradation all along 
the line of the once prosperous establish- 

In i839*Governor Alvarado appointed Wil- 
liam E. P. Hartnell, an American, to make the 
round of the missions, report on their condi- 
tion, and advise what should be done. His 
report is a sorrowful document. Barely one- 
eighth of the Indians are left, he estimates, liv- 
ing in or about the missions — which means 
that 25,000 of them had disappeared. While 
he makes no direct charges of corruption 
against the commissioners, it is plainly evident 
that he understands what wholesale robbery 
had been committed. In the matter of the 
flogging he suggests that the curates, or resi- 
dent padres, be allowed to take charge of that 
— an interesting admission. His investiga- 
tion finally brought him to such utter dis- 
couragement that after a year and a half of 
service he begged the governor to relieve him 
from the work. 

A few years later, when Pio Pico, the last 
of the Mexican governors, was beginning his 
short and troubled term, an order was issued 
for the sale of the last remnants of the mission 
properties, to meet, in most cases, the demands ^ 
of creditors — for, in addition to robbing them 
of everything that was tangible, the commis- 




1HE SPANISH theory of the colony: 
that it existed solely for the use and 
benefit of the mother country, was ex- 
emphfied in the laws respecting for- 
eigners. Neither China nor Japan, in 
the years of their greatest exclusivcness, was 
more tightly closed to outsiders than was Cali- 
fornia in the years of Spanish rule. This pol- 
icy did not prevail in Spain itself. Strangers 
possessed of satisfactory passports from their 
own countries might travel at will within her 
boundaries. The dependencies, however, were 
guarded with a jealous eye, evidently in the 
fear that they might be enticed from their al- 
legiance to the mother country. 

Little difficulty was experienced in main- 
taining this policy with regard to California 
during the first forty or fifty years of Spanish 
occupancy, for the reason that there was no 
inducement for foreigners to attempt to visit 
the country. It was entirely out of the regular 
line of ocean travel, and great deserts and 
hostile tribes of Indians shut it off from the 
p<ople of the new republic to the east. At rare 
intervals an American vessel would be seen 
along the coast — about once in ten vears. Gov- 
ernor Pedro Pages, who succeeded De Neve, 
the founder of Los Angeles, was greatly dis- 

158 Hiitory of Los AngeUi. 

turbed in 1787 by the preseace of a boat which 
he thought was "owned by General Waugh- 
engton" — such being his idea of the spelling 
of our first president's name. English and 
French explorers, coming with the official 
recognition of the home government of Spain, 
were afforded every courtesy, but all traders 
were warned to keep away from the coast. 

This rule of absolute exclusion was broken 
at last in 1814, when John Gilroy, an English- 
man, landed from a trading vessel and an- 
nounced his intention of remaining. He was 
little more than a boy, and perhaps for that 
reason his presence was not regarded with 
much apprehension. He declared himself a 
Catholic, and asked to be entered as a citizen 
of the country. In 1820 his request was for- 
mally granted, and he married into a Califor- 
nia family. Shortly afterward Philip James, - 
an American, was received under the name of 
Felipe Santiago; and an Irishman was entered 
with the very un-Irish name of Juan Maria, 
In 1816 an American schooner was driven into 
Santa Barbara, and the captain and five sailors, 
after a brief period of imprisonment, were re- 
ceived as citizens. 

The first American to settle in the vicinity 
of Los Angeles was Joseph Chapman, whom 
the native Californians called "Jose el Ingles," 
He came with Bouchard, the privateer, whose 
capture of Monterey has been described in an 
earlier portion of this narrative. He was at 
first treated as a prisoner of war, but, proving 

Tht Foreigner Arrives. 159 

himself useful — for he was a man of extraordi- 
nary ingenuity and resource — he was freed and 
accepted into citizenship. He married Guada- 
lupe Ortega, of the Santa Barbara family, 
whose ranch house was destroyed by Bouch- 
ard. Stephen C. Foster, who was a promi- 
nent man in Los Angeles at the time the Amer- 
icans took possession of California, and who 
died recently in this city, was accustomed to 
tell an interesting and romantic story of the 
capture of Chapman at Santa Barbara, and of 
his rescue from death by Guadalupe, but 
this was pure imagination with the person that 
originated it, for Chapman left the Bouchard 
party of his own accord at Monterey. Padre 
Zalvidea of San Gabriel, who was one of the 
cleverest industrial managers developed by the 
mission system, early recognized the possibil- 
ities of the versatile stranger, and made a 
friend and co-worker of him. He built for 
Zalvidea the first successful water power grist- 
mill to be operated in California. Attempts 
had been made before, but the water wheel al- 
ways threw moisture all over the grist. The 
Yankee Chapman introduced the bevel gearing 
to get around this difficulty. The mill was 
slow, but it was a great improvement over 
band grinding, or the mill which the horse 

Chapman and the Indians, working under 
his direction, prepared most of the timbers that 
were used in the construction of the Church of 
Our Lady of the Angels, on the Plaza, and as 

160 History of Los Angeles. 

these same timbers were used in the remodel- 
ing of 1861, his work still stands for the serrice 
of the present generation. In 1831 Chapman 
took charge of the construction of a schooner 
for the padres at San Gabriel, to be used in the 
business of otter hunting. With the aid of 
the Indians he prepared various parts and 
fitted them together in the workshops of the 
mission. They were then carried down to the 
ocean at San Pedro, put together again, and 
the boat was launched amid ^eat rejoicing. 
While this craft was scarcely suitable in ap- 
pearance and speed for international racing, 
perhaps, it served well the purpose for which 
It was constructed, and was the second boat to 
be built in California. Chapman died in 1849, 
after thirty years of active and serviceable life. 
A descendant of his still resides in this county. 
The Americans who now occupy this region 
are entitled to pride themselves on the fact 
that the first one of their people to come on the 
ground was a man who exemplified in his 
energy, skill and integrity, the very best qual- 
ities of the national character. 

When the republic of Mexico assumed con- 
trol of California it adopted, without much 
change, the Spanish rule with regard to for- 
eigners. But a new factor had entered in the 
shape of foreign trade, which, during the 
latter years of the revolution, bad be- 
come a necessity, all Spanish trade hav- 
ing ceased, and there being none from 
M^ico to take its place. Presently the 

T%e Foreigner Arrives. 161 

American trading companies that bought the 
hides and tallow from the missions found it 
necessary to establish local agencies at Mon- 
terey, the capital ; and in the decade from 1820 
to 1830 a number of Americans became settlers 
on this basis, with no one seemingly disposed 
to object. 

During this same period there came into 
California the first overland travelers — the 
advance guard of the great army of immigra- 
tion that was presently to overwhelm and take 
possession of the country. Although this was 
only 75 years ago, there was at this time 
a great strip of country beginning a short dis- 
tance back from the Pacific coast and running 
nearly a thousand miles to the east, covering 
more than one-fourth of the present area of 
the United States, that was practically unex- 
plored. There were no maps nor charts for 
the traveler's guidance, and no protection from 
the attack of warlike savages, save in one's 
ability to defend himself. On that side the 
Californians had thought themselves im- 
pregnable, and when the first overland par- 
ties arrived, the shock of astonishment and 
anger was to them almost like a presentiment 
of the inevitable. They had become entirely 
accustomed to the foreigners entering by the 
sea. They welcomed them as traders and tol- 
erated them as citizens. But the foreigners 
creeping in over the mountains were enemies, 
whose advent was fiercely resented. 
The first party consisted of fifteen trappers, 

162 History of Los AngeUs. 

under the command of Jed^diah S. Smith, who 
came down the Colorado river from Salt Lake 
to San Gabriel and Los Angeles in 1826. They 
were promptly ordered out of the country, but 
became scattered, and several of them re- 
mained, although their leader went back. In 
1828 a party of eight, led by Sylvester Pattie, 
a Kentuckian, and later by his son, James O. 
Pattie, came into California by way of New 
Mexico and Arizona, arriving first at San Di- 
ego. Three members of the party settled in 
I^s Angeles, Nathaniel Prior, Richard I^ugh- 
lin and Jesse Furguson. They had passports 
from the American authorities, but Governor 
Echeandia received them with great harsh- 
ness. According to the account given by the 
younger Pattie. and subsequently published 
in book form, he tore up the passports and 
threw the trappers into prison. The elder Pat- 
tie died while in confinement, and the younger 
was liberated after nearly a year in jail, when 
it was discovered that he knew how to per- 
form vaccination. The other members of the 
party were also freed. Prior, a silversmith, 
married one of the Sepulveda family, and was 
for many years active in 1j3s Angeles affairs. 
Laughlin, a joiner, owned a vineyard east of 
Alameda street. Furguson had a store on 
Main street, near the Plaza, during 1828 and 
1829, and then went to Lower Cahfornia to 

About this time came George Rice and 
John Temple. They opened a store for gen- 

■HP ' ML mi 

The Foreigner Arrives, 163 

eral merchandise on the spot where the Dow- 
ney block now stands — then the extreme 
southern limit of the town. Temple was a 
leading commercial and financial man of Los 
Angeles — an older brother of F. P. F. Temple 
of the Temple & Workman bank. His part- 
nership with Rice ceased in 183 1, and from 
that time until 1845 he conducted the store 
alone. In 1857 he built the southern portion 
of the Temple block. Two years later he built 
on the site where the Bullard block now stands 
a building which he intended for a market 
house and theater, but which was finally pur- 
chased by the county to use as a court house. 
He died in San Francisco in 1866. John Tem- 
ple was a native of Massachusetts; he mar- 
ried Dona Rafaela Cota in 1830. 

In 1827 came J. D. Leandry, who for a time 
conducted a store on the south side of the 
Plaza. He afterwards purchased the "Los 
Coyotes" ranch, dying in 1842. 

The famous Abel Stearns — universally 
called "Don Abel Stearns" — came in 1828. 
The title "Don" was bestowed by Americans, 
as well as Californians, upon a few of the earl- 
iest immigrants who had married into the fam- 
ilies of the country, and who were so thor- 
oughly identified with the Spanish population 
as to seem to the later comers to be like na- 
tives. Don Abel was a man who would have 
made his mark at any time and in any com- 
munity. He began with merchandising in a 
store located where the Baker block now 

j»._ II I ^ ,( 1^1, m 

The horeigncr Arrives, 165 

Louis Bouchette was the first Frenchman. He 
had a vineyard on Macy street, and a house 
near the site of the Baker block. Another 
Frenchman coming at about the same time, 
1831, was Jean Vignes, who owned the Aliso 

William Wolfskill, a Kentucky trapper, ar- 
rived in Los Angeles overland in 183 1. He 
married into the Lugo family, and, securing 
large tract of land to the southeast of town — 
since known as the Wolfskill ranch, or Wolf- 
skill tract — he set it out to vines. There were 
at this time a few orange trees at each of the 
missions in the southern part of the state, and 
Wolfskill determined to raise the fruit on a 
larger scale. He therefore laid out two acres 
of his ranch in 1841 to oranges, and is entitled 
to be known as the pioneer American orange 
grower of California. In i860 he had over 100 
acres in oranges. 

James, or Santiago, McKinley, a Scotch- 
man, came in 183 1, and engaged in business 
until 1846. He took a hand in several of the 

Jonathan Trumbull Warner, known as 
Juan Jose Warner, arrived in Los Angeles in 
1831, overland. He was a native of Connecti- 
cut, and for a space of over sixty years he 
holds an important place in the history of this 
region, not only because he was active in poli- 
tical and industrial affairs, but also because 
he was an observant man, and possessed the 
faculty of recording what he saw and heard. 

166 History of Los Angeles. 

In 1840 he returned to the east for the purpose 
of urging the construction of a railway to the 
Pacific coast. He was one of the earliest ad- 
vocates of that project. He lived for many 
years on his ranch in San Diego county, but 
the latter part of his life was sp«nt at his resi- 
dence in this city, located on the site of the 
Burbank theater. He died in 1895. 

The pioneers of 1832 were Juan Isaac Wil- 
liams, a trapper, who married into the Litgo 
family, and for a long time owned the Chino 
ranch ; and Lemuel Carpenter, who established 
a soap factory on the road to San Gabriel. 
Those of 1833 were Santiago Johnson, an Eng- 
lishman, who conducted a ranch in the vicin- 
ity of San Pedro, and Jacob P. Leese, who car- 
ried on a merchandise business in Los Ange- 
les for several years and then went north. 

In 1834 came Hugo Reid, a Scotchman, 
who married an Indian woman of the San Ga- 
briel mission. In 1852 he contributed to the 
Los Angeles Star an important series of arti- 
cles on Indian manners and customs. In 1835 
Henry Melius, who appears in Dana's "Two 
Years Before the Mast," settled in Los Ange- 
les, whither he was followed, four years later, 
by his brother Francis. Both were in the firm 
of Melius, Howard & Co. Henry served as 
Mayor of Los Angeles in i860. 

In 1835 came Leon I. Prudhomme, a 
Frenchman, who acquired the Cucamonga 
ranch. In 1836 John Marsh, a physician, set- 
tled in Los Angeles. His letters on the coun- 


Tltt Foreigner Arrivts. 167 

try were published in Missouri and Michigan 
newspapers, and stimulated immigration. In 
the same year came John Forster, an English- 
man, who married the sister of Pio Pico, and 
who purchased the ex-mission ranch of San 
Juan Capistrano. He died in 1884. 

In i&^i the first notable immigration party 
arrived in Los Angeles, starting from Pennsyl- 
vania. Among its 40 members were several 
who were afterward active in local affairs. 
John Rowland, who settled at Puente; Wm. 
Workman, B. D. Wilson and D. W. Alexan- 
der, F. P. F. Temple came in this same year. 
From this time on Americans began to come 
in by the overland routes in considerable num- 



0URING this period of its history Los 
Angeles was generally known as 
•'The Pueblo"— its full title, EI Pu- 
eblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de 
Los Angeles — being used only on 
official documents. There was a short time 
during which an effort was made to change the 
name to Santa ^ta^ia, as the theory seems to 
have prevailed that the name of the saint, as 
well as her title, was used in the original name 
of the town — thus, El Pueblo de Nuestra Se- 
nora, Santa Maria, la Reina de Los Angeles. 
There may have been a feeling that the origi- 
nal name was not quite long enough for the 
dignity to which the place was now attaining 
as a revolutionary center. In 1827 Los Ange- 
les had a narrow escape from an official change 
of name, but not to Santa Maria, however. 
The Mexican authorities complained that the 
name of the California city was frequently con- 
fused with that of the Puebia de Los Angeles, 
the capital of the Mexican state of Puebia, and 
the California legislature reported back advis- 
ing that the name be changed to Villa Victor- 
ia de la Reina de Los Angeles, the purpose evi- 
dently being to call it Victoria in everyday use. 
At the same time it was proposed to change 
the name of the territory from California to 


Local Events of Mexican Rule. 169 

Moctezuma. The reason for this does not ap- 
pear. Fortunately the whole proposition was 
pigeon-holed in Mexico, and Los Angeles was 
allowed to hold its unique title. There are 
plenty of Victorias in the country, but only 
one Los Angeles. The first American settlers 
had the habit of calling the place "Angeles" — 
without the "Los." 

Cosme Pena, who served as prefect of the 
southern district of California during part of 
the administration of Alvarado, introduced a 
new variation of the name. He had a great 
deal of trouble with the residents of the city, 
who were at that time in a condition of chron- 
ic tumult. In his letters to the governor Pena 
was accustomed to write the name "Los Di- 
ablos" instead of Los Angeles. 

The period from 1830 to 1840 does not show 
as rapid a growth of poptilation as the two pre- 
ceding decades, but there was material im- 
provement in a commercial way, and a prom- 
ise of future growth in the arrival of active, 
enterprising men from the country east of the 
Rockies. In 1833 it was estimated that there 
were in all about 200 families living in the 
pueblo. An approximate census for the whole 
district now included in Los Angeles county, 
taken in 1833, gives 1675 white and 553 In- 
dians. In 1836 there were said to be 40 for- 
eigners living in the region, of whom 30 were 
Americans. Thus it will be seen that while 
the Americans were prominent as a class 
through their individual activity they did not, 

170 History of Los AmgtUs, 

zs yet, coniribute much to the increase of pop- 
ulation. There was no longer any coloniza- 
tion from Spain or Mexico, although extensive 
schemes were broached at times for immigra- 
tion from the latter country. The elimination 
of the missions as an industrial factor de- 
creased the local capacity for self-support, and 
that probably affected the increase of popula- 

The new-coming Americans seem to have 
been brought under the same spell of fascina- 
tion that affects visitors to Southern Califor- 
nia even to this day, making residents of those 
that thought to be merely sojourners. In spite 
of their isolated position in the world, and the 
foreign language and customs which they met 
here, the first Americans in California seem to 
have been well satisfied with their lot, and to 
have readily accustomed themselves to the sur- 
roundings. Almost without exception they 
married women of the Spanish-American fam- 
ilies, and the marriages proved to be happy 
for both parties. The California women dis- 
covered that the foreigners — particularly those 
from the republic — made good husbands. It is 
generally conceded by those that study and 
compare national characteristics that the 
American man possesses a fair allowance of 
what may be called the domestic virtues. He 
enjoys his home, and wants it to be livable. 
He takes pride in his wife and children, and 
sees to it that they have the best his income 
will provide. 


Local EvtMts of MexieuH RuU. 171 

While the original Spanish settlers had 
been, many of them, men of force and indus- 
try, a new generation was growing up that 
had enjoytd little opportunity for education, 
and whose ideas of life had been demoralized 
by the ease with which a fair competence could 
be obtained through the labor of the Indians. 
Instead of devoting their energies to the im- 
provement of their estates — for so the great 
ranches of the older famihes may be termed — 
they wasted their time in frivolous pursuits, 
and in trifling political intrigues. Amiable, 
polite and superficially unselfish, they made 
delightful companions, but for the serious, 
practical affairs of life — of which matrimony 
is certainly one — they were not to be com- 
pared with the Americans ; and the young 
women of the best families made this discov- 
ery early, and took it to heart. 

The newcomers were required to swear al- 
legiance to Mexico, and, if they proposed to 
marry into a California family, to accept 
Catholicism. These demands were usually 
fulfilled with cheerful alacrity. The Mexican 
government was a shadowy affair, which the 
Americans believed would in time fade away 
entirely, and be succeeded by the solid reality 
of their own republic. As for the religion, by 
the time a man had made his way to this far- 
oflf corner of the world, all churches seemed 
very much alike to him; and it was the Cath- 
olic church or none, for no other existed. As 
a rule, the California fathers and mothers were 

172 Hislotj of Lot Angttst, 

gl&d enough to secure American husbuidi for 
their daughters, and objection seldom had to 
be overcome. One interesting, and rather ro- 
mantic, exception was the case of Henry 
Fitch and Dona Josefa, daughter of Joaquin 
Carrillo of San Diego, which, as it has a bear- 
ing on the history of the Church of Our Lady 
at the plaza, may be briefly told herr. 

Fitch was a dashing young American 
sailor, who came to California in 1826, and in 
1827 became engaged to Dona Josefa. Her 
parents seem to have been in doubt as to the 
wisdom of the alliance, but, after two yean 
of waiting, a reluctant consent was granted, 
and preparations were made for the wedding. 
At the last moment the uncle of the bride re- 
fused to serve as a witness, and interposed 
such vigorous objection that the offciating 
padre was afraid to proceed. He showed a 
very human sympathy for the pair, how- 
ever, and suggested that there were other 
countries where no such difficulty would be 
met. An elopement was planned, in which 
Pio Pico, a cousin of the bride, assisted. The 
marriage was performed in South America, 
and the couple returned to the coast a little 
more than a year later, accompanied by a 
third party, to wit, an infant son. An ecclesi- 
astical court was summoned to meet at San 
Gabriel, and Don Enrique was tried for vio- 
lating the laws of the church and the terri- 
tory; and the question of whether he was 
legally married or not was passed upon. The 


Local BvmU ^ Mtxiemm R%U. 173 

case awakened a great deal of interest, as may 
be imagined, and the international mar- 
riage question was discussed in every 
household. The court finally decided 
that the marriage was valid, but, "con- 
sidering the great scandal which Don 
Enrique has caused in this province," he was 
condemned "to give, as a penance and repara- 
tion, a bell of at least fifty pounds weight for 
the church at Los Angeles, which now has 
barely a borrowed one." And that is how 
the church on the plaza secured its first bell. 
During the last half of the decade — after 
the year 1835 — Los Angeles enjoyed the 
empty honor of being the capita! of the terri- 
tory. This was accomplished by Jose An- 
tonio Carrillo, an active citizen of Los An- 
geles, and an indefatigable plotter, who was 
serving in the Mexican congress at that time. 
The announcement of the proposed change 
brought out a fierce protest from the people 
of Monterey, in which some very pointed re- 
marks were made. Among other things, it 
was declared that Monterey was a larger city 
than Los Angeles — which was certainly not 
true — and that its people were more moral 
and better cultured. It was asserted that 
Monterey had the better climate, and that its 
soil was more fertile; and in proof of Mon- 
terey's general superiority over Los Angeles, 
it was said that at the former place "women, 
plants and useful animals are more produc- 
tive." A much more efiEective argfument than 

174 Hittery of Los AngtU*. 

any comparison of the merits of the two cities 
lay in the fact that Monterey was provided 
with suitable buildings for the use of the gov- 
ernment, whereas Los Angeles had nothing of 
the kind. On one or two occasions, when a 
governor had visited the pueblo, great diffi- 
culty was experienced in finding a place for 
him to stay, while he transacted public busi- 
ness. And now, as often as the Los Angeles 
ayuntamiento demanded to know why the 
order of the Mexican congress was not 
obeyed, and the seat of government removed, 
the territorial authorities always responded 
with a polite inquiry as to whether Los An- 
geles had provided the necessary public build- 
ings. With this retort the discussion usually 
came to an abrupt end, for there were no 
philanthropists in the pueblo in those days, 
and the territorial treasury being always 
empty of funds, the dilemma seemed a hope- 
less one. 

It was not until 1826 that San Pedro was 
recognized as a port, and provision made for 
the collection of revenue. Prior to that time 
all business done between Los Angeles and 
the ocean was practically smuggling. Even 
after the port was established, as the collector 
lived at Los Angeles, more than twenty miles 
away from the water front, the temptation to 
evade the payment of duties was very strong. 
During the years from 1826 to the American 
occupation, Catalina was a favorite resort for 
smugglers, and some of the most prominent 

Local Events of Mexican Rule. 175 

citizens of Los Angeles were believed to take 
part in the contraband trade. Don Abel 
Stearns built a large warehouse at San Pedro 
in the early thirties, and when his political 
enemies could find no other convenient 
method to annoy him, they would bring in a 
charge of smuggling and demand that the 
warehouse be torn down. Don Abel managed 
to hold his own against them, however, and 
invariably escaped with a verdict of "not 

The coming of mtmerous bands of trappers 
through by the southwestern route finally re- 
sulted in the opening of trade between Los 
Angeles and Arizona and New Mexico. The 
blanket; made in New Mexico were of a su- 
perior quality and much in demand, not only 
for bedding, but also for personal wear. The 
serape was the overcoat of the period. The 
California horses and mules were superior to 
those raised further east; and the exchange of 
blankets for stock was advantageous both 
ways. Presently the Arizonans found it 
cheaper to steal the stock than to trade for it, 
and in 1835 the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles 
passed some resolutions calling upon the local 
alcaldes along the line between the pueblo 
and the border to require parti'S driving 
horses and mules out of the territory to show 
a bill of sale. By this method the stealing 
was diminished but not entirely broken up. 

In 18,16 the question of titles to town lot3 
was agitated, chiefly for the reason that dis- 

176 HUtoty of Lot Angtltt. 

putes as to ownership were becoming more 
common. Up to this time no written titles 
had been granted except those to the first few 
settlers, which were of doubtful value, by rea- 
son of their limitations. Anyone who wished 
a piece of land, either for building a house or 
for cultivation, applied to the ayuntamiento. 
and received oral permission to go ahead and 
do whatever he pleased, as long as he did not 
interfere with his neighbors. Boundaries were 
vague, and, if no fence or wall had been con- 
structed, were subject to constant dispute. In 
the year 1836 the ayuntamiento began the 
practice of giving written titles, and a notice 
was issued calling upon all who held land in 
the pueblo to file a claim describing the exact 
location, and have it accepted and endorsed by 
the authorities. As the city was thus far en- 
tirely without a plan, its streets being unde- 
fined, crooked and irregular, great difficulty 
was experienced in locating and describing the 
individual boundaries. The people, moreover, 
were indolent and neglectful, and, after re- 
peated calls, many had failed to respond. 

The total of the yearly receipts of the mu- 
nicipality in these days was something under 
$1000, of which about half came from the tax 
on liquors, and the remainder from fines. The 
treasury was always empty, and there were 
continual complaints that the salary of the 
city's officers were unpaid. Practically no at- 
tempt was made at municipal improvement, 
except that the irrigation ditch was generally 

Loemi £vtnts of Mtxitmm Rult. 177 

kept in order. Indians were punished for 
drunkenness by being put to work on the 
ditch, and the supply of malefactors of this 
kind was inexhaustible. There was no light- 
ing of streets at night, except that each 
keeper of a tavern or wine-shop was required 
to hang a lantern in front of his place. In 
1836 the filthiness of the city was so great that 
crows and other carrion birds were attracted 
to it in vast numbers, constituting a veritable 
pest. A voluntary contribution was called for 
by the ayuntamiento to pay for the expense of 
killing them off. In this same year a decree 
was passed that no man should keep more 
than two dogs, and that both of these should 
be securely tied. What to do with the super- 
fluous ones was a question. The treasury 
was as usual ; but the second alcalde came for- 
ward — limping a little, perhaps — and offered 
to provide at his own expense the necessary 

In 1839 an incident took place which, 
though trivia] in itself, added to the general 
unpopularity from which the town suffered 
throughout the territory. Don Cosme Pena 
had been appointed by Governor Alvarado 
prefect of the southern district, with head- 
quarters at Los Angeles. There being no 
other place offered for his use, he had an of- 
fice in the residence of Don Abel Stearns, and 
the flag of the Mexican republic fluttered from 
the top of a pole in front of the house. One 
Sunday, when Pena was out of the city, a 

178 History of Lot Amgtiot. 

party of fifteen young men pulled down this 
flag, and then, by way of added insult, glaugh- 
tered a calf at the flag pole. The explanation 
offered by the citizens of the affair was that 
Stearns was accustomed to use the pole as a 
hitching post for cattle that were presently to 
be slaughtered, and that the flag was removed 
and the calf killed as a mark of their dis- 
approval of Pena's choice of headquarters. In 
the territory generally it was taken as an in- 
sult to the national emblem. Pena resigned in 
anger, and the governor fined each member of 
the ayuntamiento $io, and compelled twenty 
citizens who had signed a letter to him on the 
subject to pay $5 apiece for their rashness. 




IHE early Califomian presents the 
most picturesque and distinctly 
unique type that appears in our na- 
tional history; and his life, prior to its 
modification by contact with the peo- 
ple of the United States, is extraordinarily ro- 
mantic and interesting. It is quite probable 
that the modern American, if suddenly trans- 
planted into the California of 1830, would find 
much that was disagreeable, and perhaps also 
some things that would excite his horror and 
disgust. He would, on the other hand, find 
not a little to enjoy, and a great deal to won- 
der at and admire. At the root of it all he 
would discover a principle so radically differ- 
ent from that on which he endeavors to base 
his own life policy, that the whole scheme 
would seem to him an almost hopeless puzzle. 
Asking himself constantly the question : Why 
do these people do these foolish things? he 
would see no wisdom in the answer : Because 
it is the custom of the country, as it was for- 
merly the custom of our ancestors in Spain. 

For example, nothing distressed the first 
American visitors more than to observe the 
way the Californians yoked the oxen for work 
in the fields, or for draft purposes on the road. 
Instead of the weight being put upon the neck 

IN History of Los Ai^;*l*s. 

and shoulders, it was thrown directly upon the 
horns. The poor creatures showed by their 
lifting and twisting of the head that they were 
sufiFering pain, and the limit of their strength 
and endurance was quickly reached ; they were 
by no means as efficient as they would have 
been if properly yoked. But when the visitor 
called attention to the cruelty and the wasted 
energy in this system, he received always the 
same answer: That it was so done in Spain. 

This admiration of the Mexicans for the 
mother country, even after they had passed 
out from under its control, was almost without 
limit. Though not always expressed in words, 
it showed in their intense conservatism. They 
were totally ignorant of the change that had 
taken place in the relative position of Spain 
and other European countries, whereby it was 
no longer a great and powerful empire, but a 
tottering ruin. That country was to them still 
the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella, of Charles 
V and Philip II. Those who could read were 
an insignificant fraction of the total, but even 
for the educated there were no books, news- 
papers or periodicals. We may go further, and 
say that had all the means been at hand for 
enlightenment, it would still have required 
many generations of knowledge to have re- 
moved the hereditary self-complacency — the 
innocent and almost modest pride, that is an 
essential part of the Spanish character. 

Lacking a word to exactly correspond to 
our "civilized," the first Spaniards used the 

Tk€ P^torml Age in QUifomia. 181 

phrase, "La gente de razon" — people who can 
reason — ^to distinguish them from the Indians, 
whom they regarded as little else than brutes. 
There were, at the time of the American occu- 
pation, about 4000 native Californians of this 
order, and about 1500 of these were in Los An- 
geles or its vicinity. A very small percentage 
were pure-blooded Spaniards, although few 
were ready to admit that they were anything 
else. Cases were rare in which whole families 
emigrated from Spain, or Spanish soldiers sent 
back for their wives or sweethearts to come 
over, and the extremely small number of wo- 
men from the mother country is the clearest 
evidence of the mixed character of the popula- 
tion. In the early history of Mexico many ne- 
groes were brought into that country, and, as 
we have seen, there wjis some element of negro 
blood among the first settlers of Los Angeles. 
As a rule, however, the mixture was Spanish 
and Indian in varying proportions. The com- 
bination was not a fortunate one, when to the 
haughtiness and conservatism of the Spaniard 
was added the ignorance and indolence of the 
Indian. That the results were no worse in the 
composite character is due partly to the favor- 
able influence of the Catholic church, and part- 
ly to the natural conditions of the country that 
made life simple and easy. 

The higher class Californian, whose blood 
was nearly if not entirely Spanish, was gener- 
ally the owner of a huge ranch, tens of thou- 
ftnds of acres in extent, covered with cattle. 

18Z History of Los AngtU^. 

The offices of the territory, and most of those 
of the municipalities, were filled from this 
class. Their characteristics were the same as 
we know them today among the few remain- 
ing representatives of the old order. They 
were elegant of manner, digBified, hospitable, 
generous to a fault, honorable and just, as far 
as their limited knowledge of the world admit- 
ted. It takes a wise man to be a just one. If, 
for example, at the time of the American oc- 
cupation, some of the Californians were guilty 
of questionable transactions in the matter of 
land titles and government claims, it was rath- 
er through their failure to understand the tech- 
nicalities of our law, and their desire to do 
as they thought the Americans did, than from 
any actual wish to defraud. But, on the other 
hand, the original Californians of the better 
class were not lacking in faults. They were 
seldom good business men — one might almost 
say never — they were utterly unprogressive, 
they were given to political plotting and 
scheming, they were vain of their personal ap- 
pearance, and too often were what in the 
south is called "trifling" and in New England 
"shiftless." The last characteristic was on so 
grand a scale as almost to be invested with a 
dignity of its own. From the beginning of the 
American invasion it was only too plainly evi- 
dent that this class would never be able to 
hold its own against the superior shrewdness 
and determination of the Anglo-Saxon. 

The lower class Californian forms by no 

Tlu Pastoral Ag* in CiUi/omia. 183 

means so pleasing a picture. In numbers he 
exceeded the others more than ten to one. 
He had something of the dignity and the gen- 
erosity of his superior, but lacked his self-con- 
trol. Indolent, reckless, entirely without edu- 
cation, addicted to drink, and purposeless in 
his occupations, we can only wonder that his 
race continued through half a dozen genera- 
tions, down to its improved condition of the 
present day. 

Although generated from a different set 
of causes, the conditions in California before 
the American occupation were not unlike those 
of the south before the war. The actual labor 
of the country was performed by the Indians, 
who were held in servitude, and may be com- 
pared to the negro slaves of the southern 
states. The upper class Spaniards may be 
compared in an industrial sense to the slave- 
holders of the south (although they regarded 
the institution of slavery with abhorrence) ; 
and, finally, the lower class Califomians may 
be likened to the poor whites of the slave 
states, despising labor, as the latter did, and 
existing somehow on the overflowr of the gen- 
eral prosperity. The comparison is hardly fair 
to the Californian, however, for the poor white 
was spiritless and weak, whereas the other 
was full of pride, and was not without energy 
in certain directions. 

Life in California, during this period, is in- 
separably bound up with the horse. As soon 
as children could walk, they were taught to 

184 History qf Lm AngtUt. 

ride, and by the time they were ktowo they 
were at home not merely in the saddle, but all 
over the horse, whether he were saddled and 
bridled, or was naked and wild from the herd. 
Horses were so cheap as to be practically vaU 
ueless. At times it was found necessary to kill 
them o£E in great numbers. No attempt was 
made to breed them to any points of excel- 
lence, nor were they trained with the skill and 
good judgment that horsemen now employ. 
The average Californian had so many animals 
at his disposal that he paid little attention to 
any one in particular. They rode their horses 
recklessly, and were thoughtless about matters 
of food and drink and care. Fine trappings for 
the horse were highly esteemed, and one of the 
few manual industries held in great regard in 
California, as it had been in Spain, was leather 
working, an industry that has been handed 
down in improved form to the present genera- 

The industrial pursuits of these people con- 
sisted of agriculture, on a very limited scale, 
of the manufacture of a few articles in com- 
mon use, and of the raising of cattle for hides 
and tallow. The latter was a business that 
largely took care of itself, and it was prac- 
ticed on a grand scale. Once a year there was 
a rodeo, or round-up, when the cattle of a dis- 
trict were gathered together by vaqueros, and 
new stock was branded with the mark of the 
owner. Special officers, called "jueces del 
campo," or judges of the plain, were present 



The Pectoral Age in California, 185 

at these gatherings to decide all disputes of 
ownership. This office was continued for a 
time even under American rule. The rodeos 
usually took place in the spring or early sum- 
mer, and were occasions of great merry-mak- 
ing, large feeding and deep drinking, so that 
even the most indolent were willing to forego 
their habitual rest to take part and help. In 
the autumn of the year the annual killing took 
place. Hides brought an average of $2 apiece, 
and tallow sold at from 6 to 8 cents a pound. 
On a large ranch there would be perhaps 1000 
cattle ready for the slaughter, which would 
bring the owner $10,000 to $15,000 in cash or 
trade — usually in trade, for coin was scarce. 
It has been estimated that when the pastoral 
system of California was at its height, there 
were 1,200,000 cattle on the ranches. The an- 
nual exportations of hides and tallow averaged 
over $250,000. The cattle were of an inferior 
grade, lean, wild, and of little value for do- 
mestic purposes. Butter, cheese, and even 
milk, were rarities. The beef from these ani- 
mals was tough, stringy and tasteless. 

The sheep were a "scrub" breed, with short, 
coarse wool, and their flesh was seldom used 
for food. Hogs were raised in small numbers, 
but the "gente de razon" disdained the use of 
pork, except in the form of lard for cooking, 
and the Indians regarded it with suspicion. 
The early, Californians seem to have devoted 
very little thought or energy to the pleasures 
of the table. Travelers among them speak in 

The Pastoral Age in California. 


The amusements of these people consti- 
tuted a large and an important part of their 
life. They came together from great distances 
to attend fiestas, which were celebrations ex- 
tending through several days and nights, or 
fandangos, which were dance parties. Social 
life was on an informal basis. No invitations 
were issued to these gatherings, other than a 
general notice, and almost everyone in the ad- 
joining country was expected to come. One 
pleasing fact to be set down in this connection 
is that there were almost none of those dis- 
tressing feuds, or life-long enmities, that are 
so often to be found among primitive peoples, 
and sometimes, we may add, among those of a 
presumably higher civilization. Dueling was 
almost unknown, and homicides rare. The 
faults of the early Californians were not of the 
savage and brutal order, but were rather the 
outgrowth of qualities that are not far re- 
moved from virtues. It is but a short and 
easy step from generosity to prodigality, from 
good humor to shiftlcssness, and from socia- 
bility to indolence. 




|HE HISTORY of the United Sutes 
prior to 1861 is largely a history of 
the slavery question. Not only were 
all internal political events affected 
in some measure by this issue, but 
even the foreign policy did not escape its bale- 
ful influence. When the Missouri compromise 
set a definite limit, as was supposed, to the 
spread of slavery to the north, the acquisition 
of more territory to the south and southwest 
was necessary to the slave-holding interest, so 
that it might maintain an equilibrium with its 
opponents. Our relations with the Mexican 
republic were controlled, almost from the be- 
ginning, by this salient fact, and out of it 
finally came the war of 1846-8, and the acqusi- 
tion of California. Arizona and New Mexico. 
There were, of course, other considerations 
that entered into the impulse for war, when 
the time came for its actual declaration. A 
great majority of the people of the north, as 
well as of the south, believed that the "Mani- 
fest Destiny" of the republic required that it 
should extend through on even lines from 
ocean to ocean. In due course of time this 
sentiment might have led to the purchase of 
this territory, and would certainly have 
aroused active and forcible opposition to its 

Th^ stars and Stripes. 191 

seizure by any foreign power; but the Union 
would scarcely have been drawn into a de- 
liberate war for conquest — which the Mexican 
war undoubtedly was — on a mere desire for 
expansion, nor would the opportunity for that 
war have been provided had not a potent 
cause existed in the political situation. 

The final appeal to arms grew out of the 
annexation of Texas to the United States. 
While still a Spanish dependency Texas had 
been colonized by numerous parties of Amer- 
icans ; and during Mexican rule it filled rapidly 
with emigrants, chiefly from the southern 
states. In 1836, when the Mexican republic 
was in the midst of one of its periodic revolu- 
tions, the Texans declared themselves inde- 
pendent, and asked to be admitted to the 
American Union. The proposition was, of 
course, declined, as its acceptance would have 
constituted an act of deliberate and inexcus- 
able aggression; but Mexico contended that 
the Americans constantly gave aid and com- 
fort to the rebels. Unable to win back its 
revolted province, Mexico, nevertheless, re- 
fused to acknowledge its independence. 

In the eight years following, the oflfer of 
Texas to come into the American Union stood 
open, and was discussed at each session of 
congress. It was well understood, both in the 
United States and in Mexico, that the accept- 
ance of the oflfer meant war. There was, it 
is true, an element in Mexico that favored let- 
ting Texas go, because it feared that the out- 

192 History of Los AngeUs. 

come of a conflict with the United States 
would be the loss of California and the neigh- 
boring territory, but those holding that view 
were in the minority. 

The continuous strain under which the 
two countries rested is revealed in the incident 
of tlie raising of the American flag at Monte- 
rey by Commodore Jones in 1842. This oc- 
curred four years before actual war broke 
out, and while Micheltorena was governor of 
California. England was believed to have her 
eye on the province, which was to be taken in 
exchange for fifty million dollars' worth of 
Mexican securities held by British citizens. 
France had been sending numerous exploring 
parties into the country. The weakness of 
Mexico made it possible that California might 
easily be wrested from her grasp, and the Eu- 
ropean powers were believed to be ready to 
seize it on the first opportunity. Instructions 
had been issued to the American naval com- 
manders of the Pacific, that in the event of 
war breaking out over the Texas difficulty, 
they were to hasten to Monterey and raise tht, 
American flag. 

Under this condition of affairs. Commo- 
dore Jones was lyinp in the harbor of Callao, 
Peru, with the Pacific squadron, when a ru- 
mor reached him that hostilities had begun be- 
tween the two nations. At the same time the 
British squadron lying in the harbor left in 
haste, without divulging its course. The 
American commander jumped at the conclu- 

. Itl III » 


The Stars and Stripes. 193 

sion that the English were about to seize Cal- 
ifornia, and promptly sailed for the north. 
October 19th he came into the harbor of Mon- 
terey, and although he found no British ves- 
sels there he proceeded to carry out his de- 
sign. Landing a force of 400 sailors and ma- 
rines, he took possession of the town, no re- 
sistance being offered, and raised the Stars 
and Stripes over the fort. There the flag 
waved for a day, and then the commodore re- 
ceived information that convinced him he had 
made a mistake. He promptly withdrew the 
American ensign, ran up the tricoloi n its 
place, and expressed a willingness to apolo- 
gize and make suitable reparation. 

Governor Micheltorena was at Los Ange- 
les, slowly making his way northward from 
Mexico with the ragg^ed, thieving army that 
afterward brought him so much trouble. 
Thither Commodore Jones repaired, bringing 
his fleet to San Pedro. When Micheltorena 
heard of the capture of Monterey, he issued a 
furious proclamation, in which he declared 
that he would shed his last drop of blood in 
defense of his country, but his wrath cooled 
when he received a letter of apology from 
Jones, accompanied by an offer of reparation. 
The governor's idea of what was proper and 
adequate reparation and the commodore's idea 
did not coincide exactly. There was a streak 
of thriftiness in Micheltorena's character that 
came to light on this occasion. He announced 
that the wounded feelings of himself and his 

IM History of Los AmggUt. 

countrymen could be soothed only by a dona- 
tion from Jones of 50 uniforms for the army, a 
set of band instruments and $15,000 in cash. 
The commodore declined to consider this re- 
quest, saying that the damages would have 
to be settled by the respective governments. 
The two principals to the controversy met on 
amicable terms at the residence of Don Abel 
Stearns, and a grand ball was given in honor 
of the Americans. Commodore Jones ordered 
a special salute to be given the Mexican flag 
at San Pedro, and in this way the incident 
came to a pleasant ending. 

Four years later, when war was immi- 
nent, althongh not yet declared, Captain John 
C. Fremont, of the U. S. Topographical Engi- 
neers, entered California overland, with an ex- 
ploring party that consisted of 61 men, most 
of whom were trappers and experienced 
mountaineers. Fremont was a unique figure 
on the national stage and his relation to the 
affairs of California, during the period of con- 
quest, was subsequently made the basis of 
so much bitter partisan discussion that it is 
difficult, even at this remote period, to arrive 
at a just judgment on his conduct. While 
there were numerous individual acts commit- 
ted by him that are open to criticism, if tried 
by modern standards, two material points of 
defense may be urged in his behalf: First, his 
youth, imbued with an enthusiastic and ag- 
gressive Americanism, and, second, the secret 
but easily divined instructions under which 

7il^ 5/afV aiM/ Stripes. 195 

he worked, coming through his father-in-law, 
Senator Benton, direct from the administra- 
tion. Without doubt, President Polk and his 
cabinet believed that a war with Mexico was 
inevitable, and they were ready to welcome 
any reasonable excuse that should start the 
train. We do not have to assume that Fre- 
mont was specifically instructed to pick a 
quarrel with Mexico in California. It was 
enough that he should have had conveyed to 
him, even in vague terms, the administra- 
tion's willingness to fight ; his intense and al- 
most reckless loyalty would do the rest. The 
censure that seems to be his must, therefore, 
be passed higher up — it belongs, in fact, with 
the majority of the American people, whose 
sentiment at this time Fremont most thor- 
oughly typified. 

It was in the month of January of the 
eventful year 1846 that Fremont entered the 
state and encamped in the Sacramento valley. 
He came immediately in person to Monterey, 
and, accompanied by Thomas O. Larkin, the 
United States consul, he called on General 
Castro, the military head of the California 
government, Pico then being governor with 
his headquarters at Los Angeles. The nego- 
tiation was oral, and its terms afterward a 
matter of dispute. Fremont explained that 
his purpose was one of scientific exploration, 
and Castro seems to have given a kind of con- 
sent to his remaining. The commandant was 
very much astonished a few weeks later to 

196 Hiitary of Los AmgtUs. 

find that Fremont had brought his men over 
on the coast range, and was encamped near 
San Juan Bautista mission, only 30 miles from 

the capital at Monterey. 

The party was not molested, however, «n- 
lil there were numerous complaints of horse- 
stealing, and a charge that several of Fre- 
mont's men had behaved in an insulting man- 
ner toward the daughter of a prominent Cali- 
fornian in the vicinity. There is no evidence 
that any of these charges were true, but the 
commandant believed them, and he ordered 
Fremont to leave the territory. For answer, 
the American threw up earthworks around his 
camp, and raised the Stars and Stripes. This 
was. in effect, an act of war, and one for which 
it is quite impossible to find an adequate de- 
fense, except on the theory that Fremont had 
been sent info the country for the deliberate 
purpose of making trouble. It seems to have 
occurred to the young captain that perhaps 
he was going ahead too fast, for when Castro 
assembled an army of 200 men at San Juan 
Bautista, Fremont and his baclcwoodsmen 
slipped out in the night and made away to the 

Fremont was accustomed to speak with 
extreme bitterness of Castro, who, he said, 
welcomed him to the state and then expelled 
him by force. Some months later, when Com- 
modore Stockton, U. S, N., was issuing a proc- 
lamation to the Californians, announcing the 
American occupation, and was casting about 

la^fcii ^ 

The Stars and Stripes, 197 

for a reasonable cause for this policy, the news 
of the war between the nations not having 
been received as yet, Fremont suggested that 
his expulsion from the territory constituted an 
adequate "casus belli," and Stockton incor- 
porated a savage reference to it in the docu- 
ment. It was indeed a cause of war — but to 
Mexico and not to the United States. In 
driving out armed and rebellious foreigners, 
Castro merely acted as a loyal officer should 
act; his mistake, if any, was in allowing Fre- 
mont and his party to enter at all. 

This took place in the month of March, 
T846. In April, Lieutenant A. H. Gillespie ar- 
rived at Monterey with private dispatches for 
Fremont, and, learning that he was on his 
way to Oregon, started off in pursuit. What 
the nature of these dispatches was has never 
been made public, but their effect on Fremont 
was to cause him immediately to return to the 
Sacramento valley, and establish a camp ne^ 
the mouth of the Feather river. This confirms 
the theory that Fremont was sustained, and 
even urged on, by the administration at Wash- 

By this time the policy of insolence and 
aggression on the part of the Americans had 
borne its inevitable fruit in a feeling of re- 
sentment, suspicion and hatred on the part of 
the Californians, and a thousand rumors sped 
over the territory, generated out of these sen- 
timents, and then in turn increasing them. It 
was said that 10,000 American immigrants 

190 History of Los An^Us. 

were on their way to California with the 
avowed purpose of taking possession of the 
country; that the Californians were preparing 
to rise and massacre the Americans without 
mercy; that the British were about to seize 
the territory; and that the home government 
of Mexico was in a condition of absolute an- 
archy. In the midst of this confusion, a hand- 
ful of adventurous spirits, living in and 
around Sonoma, decided on the impulse of the 
moment, that the shortest road to order and 
good government lay in following the exam- 
ple of Texas — for the Americans of the terri- 
tory to revolt from Mexico, set up a republic 
of their own, and then ask for annexation to 
the United States. They were few in number, 
uncertain of purpose, without a competent 
leader, and but for the fact that the war be- 
tween the Union and Mexico happened in the 
very nick of time to extricate t.iem from their 
dilemma, they would have paid dearly for 
their folly; but, despite all this, the Bear Flag 
incident goes down to history as an important 
and exciting chapter of the California narra- 

The conspirators presented their plan to 
Fremont, but while he was perhaps willing 
enough to see anything done that would widen 
the breach between the two countries, as an 
officer in the American army he could not par- 
ticipate in a movement of active rebellion 
against a nation with which the United States 
was not yet at war. The leaders in the affair 

The Stars and Stripts. 199 

consulted with him from time to time, and 
when the rebellion was fairly on its feet, he 
allowed himself to become considerably iden- 
tified with it. By that time, however, news 
had reached him that fighting had begun along 
the Texas frontier between the American and 
Mexican armies, and that a declaration of war 
would soon follow. 

On the morning of June 14, 1846, the party 
of revolutionists, 32 in number, entered the 
little town of Sonoma, took General Vallejo 
and several others prisoners, and seized the 
fort, which contained cannon, muskets and 
other government property. There was no 
fighting, either then or at any time during the 
affair, although two Americans were captured 
and put to death by the Californians, in return 
for which three Californians were slaughtered 
by the Americans. 

When the Mexican ensign was hauled 
down from the fort at Sonoma, it was decided 
that the new republic must have a flag, and 
the bear was used as the central figure of a 
hastily constructed design. The name chosen 
was "The California Repubhc." 

The absence of any one commanding fig- 
ure soon threw affairs into confusion. Wm. 
B. Ide, who was nominally the leader, lacked 
pretty much everything that enables a man to 
direct the actions of others. Finally, early in 
July, when the so-called republic had been in 
existence less than three weeks, the whole 
party placed themselves in the hands of Fre- 
mont, on the understanding that he was to 

aoo tiistorj of Lm AmftUt. 

get them out of the d:fficaltjr as best be could. 
J-'ortunately, just at this time, the news came 
that Commodore Sloat had entered the harbor 
of Moriterey, and had taken possession of the 
entire territory in the name of the United 
States, 'ihis brought an abrupt end to the 
hear Flag movement, and transformed those 
whom the Calitornians regarded as desper- 
ate rebels, and who regarded themselves as 
brave revolutionists, into what history regards 
ah hare-brained enthusiasts. 

Actual hostilities between the United 
States and Mexico broke out in April, 1846, 
but llic news did not reach Washington for 
nearly three weeks, this being before the days 
of transcontinental railways and the telegraph. 
On May 13th war was declared, but no 
kii'iwli-djie of that fact reached the Pacific 
fijasl until Au^just 12th. Early in June, how- 
ever, ('omniodore Sloat, lying in the harbor of 
Ma>!a(laii, had news of the opening of hostili- 
ties from which he knew a declaration of war 
nuisl cDinc, and, proccedinR in accordance 
with ceneral instructions which he had re- 
ceived sonic time before, he hurried north to 
Monterey, entering that port on the 2nd of 
July. He speiil several days inquiring into 
llie conditioti of affairs in California, where 
lie found no news of the (ipliting had yet pen- 
elrated, and on the 7th of July he made up his 
iniiKl 10 go ahead with his plan to seize the 
luunlry, deeming it better, as he said, to be 
censured for "doing too nnich rather than too 



ASTRO was at Santa Clara at the time 
of Commodore Sloat^s arrival .^t 
Monterey, engaged in an effort to 
raise men to put down the Bear Flag 
rebellion. The relations between 
Governor Pico and himself were, at this time, 
strained almost to the point of civil war. The 
former was, indeed, assembling a force, osten- 
sibly to assist in maintaining order, but really 
for the purpose of attacking Castro, whom he 
charged with usurpation of civil power. The 
correspondence that passed between the two 
becomes almost ludicrous, when read in the 
light of subsequent events, but each took his 
part with the utmost seriousness, Pico stand- 
ing upon his dignity as governor of the terri- 
tory, and demanding that Castro take no step 
of importance without consulting him, and 
Castro bombastically vowing to shed his last 
drop of blood in defense of his country, but 
wisely keeping out of the way of the Ameri- 
cans with his pitiful force of 200 ill-equipped 
men. Later in the month the two representa- 
tives of Mexican rule came together in the 
south, and made a feeble effort to rally their 
forces against the Americans, but as each was 
suspicious of the other, concert of action was 
impossible. A generation of habitual plotting 

2D& Hittory of Ln Ai^»Ut,. 

and revolutions had rendered the Califomtans 
useless to themselves and to one another. 

On the 7th of July, 1846, Commodore Sloat 
landed his men at Monterey, and raised the 
Stars and Stripes over the fort. The local com- 
mandant offered no opposition, merely putting 
himself on record with the statement that he 
was overpowered by a superior force. The 
commodore then issued a proclamation, 
couched in temperate and conciliatory lan- 
guage, in which he declared that California 
would henceforth be American territory— al- 
though what authority he had to make that 
statement does not appear — and that the Cali- 
fornians themselves would be the ones most 
benefited by the change, as they would come 
under a stable government, where revolutions 
were unknown and where life, property, and 
the right to religious freedom would be se- 
cure. He assured them that the limitations on 
commerce would be removed, and that the val- 
u.« of real estate and of all California products 
would be advanced. He urged all local officers 
to continue with their duties, until the govern- 
ment of the territory could be definitely ar- 
ranged and he promised that no private prop- 
erty should be taken for public use without 
just return. 

Within the next few days the flag was 
raised at Yerba Buena (San Francisco), So- 
noma, Sutter's Fort (Sacramento district), 
Santa Cruz and San Jose, This completed the 
conquest of the northern part of the state, and 

I'l ^t ■ - ■ - li ' - 1 

TTu Americans Enter Los Angeles* 203 

no difficulty was experienced either then or 
later in holding it under American rule. The 
real war of conquest in California was all in 
the southern portion, with Los Angeles, which 
was the capital, as its chief agitator. 

About the middle of the month Commo- 
dore Stockton arrived ; and as Sloat was in 
bad health and anxious to return to Wash- 
ington, he placed Stockton in command and 
sailed to the south. For some reason Stockton 
seemed to feel that it was incumbent upon 
him to follow Sloat's example and issue a proc- 
lamation, although the latter had said all that 
was needed on the subject of the relation of 
the Californians to the new authority. Stock- 
ton, however, succeeded in saying a good many 
things that were better left unsaid ; his missive 
contained a violent attack on Castro, whom he 
called a usurper that was to be expelled from 
the country by force. His threatening, ill- 
humored language was well calculated to stir 
up disorder rather than to allay discontent. 

Fremont's original party had now grown 
to such proportions that it was mustered into 
regular service as the "Battalion of California 
Volunteers," with Fremont as major, and Gil- 
lespie as captain. On the 26th day of July, this 
command was sent to San Diego with instruc- 
tions to work north to Los Angeles, so as to 
meet in that vicinity with Stockton's sailors 
and marines, who would come up from San 
Pedro. The purpose of this movement was to 
cut off Castro and his army from escape to the 

204 History of Lot AmgtUs. 

south. Fremont landed at San Diego July 
29th, and on the 13th of August met Sockton 
and his men just outside of Los Angeles. 

Meantime, what had been transpiring in 
the City of the Angels P News of all these 
great events — the expulsion of Fremont, the 
Bear Flag rebellion, the capture of Monterey, 
and the approach of Stockton and the Califor- 
nia battalion had been brought to the pueblo, 
and now last of all came Castro himself with 
his remnant of an army. Through most of 
this period the territorial legislature or a 
piece of it, had been in session. As fast as new 
disasters were reported, this body would pass 
resohilions denouncing the authors thereof, 
and calling upon the people to rise and arm 
themselves and resist to the last. The gover- 
nor undertook to do his part by issuing proc- 
lamations of^he same tenor. But the people 
did not rise.yThere was no money in the treas- 
ury to provftte arms and uniforms, and no 
army organization worthy of the name. More- 
over, there was a large element of the popula- 
tion made up of Americans and their friends. 
and including also many of the shrewdest and 
most progressive of the native Californians, 
who appreciated that the best thing that could 
happen to the territory was for it to be ab- 
sorbed by the American republic. While these 
men hesitated to declare themselves in favor 
of the invaders, they certainly could not be de- 
pended upon to resist them. 

Just at this juncture there appeared in Los 



The I Americans Enter Los Angeles, 205 

Angeles a Catholic priest named Eugene Mc- 
Namara, who had a scheme that he declared 
would extricate California from all its trou- 
bles ; and the legislature devoted a week^s time 
to its consideration, clinging to it evidently as 
a sort of forlorn hope. He claimed to represent 
an English colonization company that was pre- 
pared to send 10,000 Irish emigrants into the 
territory, provided a land grant of 27,000 
square miles be given for their use. The theory 
on which the scheme rested was that if an 
English company held a grant of this magni- 
tude — 270 miles by 100 would be a huge slice 
out of the state — it might result in interference 
on the part of the British nation with the plans 
of the Americans. The hope was futile, for 
McNamara represented nothing but a firm of 
irresponsible London speculators, who wanted 
a land grant to serve as a claim against the 
Americans when the latter should take the 
country. The deed was given, the land being 
a large part of what is now known as the San 
Joaquin valley, but it was not signed until a 
few days after Sloat raised the flag at Monte- 
rey, whereby it was of no value whatever. 

In the last days of July a definite plan for 
the organization of an army was adopted and 
a call was issued for all men of suitable age to 
bear arms to assemble in Los Angeles and be 
enrolled. Only a few responded. The total 
forces of Pico and Castro probably did not 
amount to much over 200 men, although the 

a06 HUlory of Lot AngtUt, 

Americana at the time believed them to be six 
or eight times that number. 

On the nth of August, 1846, Stockton and 
his 400 men started up from San Pedro drag- 
ging their cannon by hand. Two days were 
consumed in making the march. He encamped 
on the mesa, about three miles southeast of 
the city, and waited for Fremont. While 
here a rumor reached him that Castro and 
Pico had fled to the south, accompanied by a 
considerable band of horsemen. On the I3tb 
Fremont and the California battalion came up, 
and the combined forces marched into the citjr. 
7'here was no opposition nor even a manifesta- 
tion of ill-will. The officers of the territorial 
government went into hiding, but, with the ex- 
ception of Castro and Pico, they were either 
captured or surrendered themselves within the 
next few days. Castro had fled to Mexico. 
Pico was concealed at the ranch of his brother--, 
in-law, Don Juan Forster, and he made his way | 
over the border about a month afterward. 

Permanent headquarters were established 
for the American government in an old adobe, 
where the St. Charles Hotel now stands, on 
North Main street, and Captain Gillespie and 
a garrison of fifty men were stationed there. ! 

Stockton remained about two weeks in Los 
Angeles, during which time he formulated a j 
plan for the civil government of California, and ^ 
announced his intention of appointing Fremont / 
as governor. He did not actually put the pl^^ 
in force at this time, however. He wrott' a 

7 .:..:ii1iii 

T'A^ Americans Enter Los Angeles. 207 

long and rather boastful report of his success 
in conquering the new territory, and sent it 
back to the national authorities by Kit Carson, 
the famous scout, who had accompanied Fre- 
mont through the whole of his recent adven- 
turous course — a conspicuous and interesting 
character of this period. Stockton and his sail- 
ors then returned to San Pedro, and sailed for 
Monterey. Fremont and his battalion went 
north by land. Both the commanders were en- 
tirely confident that there would be no further 
difficulties, and that California was now safely 
under the flag of the republic. 

They did not appreciate, however, the ca- 
pacity of the ancient pueblo for making trou- 
ble. Revolution had become a habit with its 
residents, and the quiet of good order was 
distasteful^nd fatiguing. It is not improbable 
that the rule of Captain Gillespie was some- 
what lacking in diplomacy and consideration. 
The failure of the Californians to stand for a 
conflict had caused them to be rated as cow- 
ards by the American soldiers; and Gillespie 
and his men no doubt showed insolent and un- 
warranted contempt for the people in their 
charge. He refused to allow the Californians 
to gather in friendly reunions, such as they 
were accustomed to hold, would not allow li- 
quor to be sold except on his special permis- 
sion ; and on slight pretexts — so it is charged — 
he would order leading citizens to be arrested 
and brought before him, that he might humili- 
ate them by his arrogance. These statements 

208 History cf Los Ang^t. 

are no doubt subject to considerable discount, 
and it may be that no man, however discreet 
and weli-disposcd, would have pleased these 
people as a ruler — for they did not wish to be 
ruled; but the unanimous testimony of the 
American residents of Los Angeles, at this 
time, was that Gillespie made bad business <^ 
his authority, and that he was largely to blanie 
for what happened. 

There was a band of wild young men in 
the pueblo, headed by Serbulo Varela, who 
played at revolution and plotted for sport. 
They called one of their number "governor," 
and managed lo annoy Gillespie and his men, 
while they kept discreetly out of reach. On 
the night of September 22nd this gang, consist- 
ing of perhaps twenty youths, surrounded the 
old adol>e where the Americans were, and 
feigned an attack by beating drums and dis- 
charging muskets in the air. The soldiers sup- 
posed it was a genuine attack, as perhaps the 
Californians intended it should be later, and 
they fired into the crowd, wounding one man 
in the foot. The next day Gillespie arrested a 
number of the leading men of the town, none 
of whom had participated in the affair of the 
night before, and threw them into prison; 
whereupon a revolt started in good earnest. 
Gillespie and his men managed to retreat from 
their exposed position in the adobe to one of 
the hills above and to the west of the city, and 
there they constructed a fort of sandbags. A 
courier was dispatched to the north to apprise 

The Americans Enter Los Angeles. 209 

Stockton of the dangerous position in which 
they were placed; for the number of Califor- 
nians in arms was increasing daily, and al- 
though the Americans had successfully beaten 
oflE every attack so far, it was only a matter of 
a very short time when their supplies would be 

The courier, who was known as "J^^t" ^1^" 
CO," or "Lean John," his true name being John 
Brown, made the trip to Monterey, 462 miles, 
in the extraordinary time of fifty-two hours, 
changing horses at frequent intervals, but tak- 
ing no sleep by the way. One horse was shot 
beneath him, as he passed the suburbs of Los 
Angeles. This ride was long talked of by the 
early American settlers of the state. 

Stockton had, before leaving for the north, 
organized a local militia company of twenty 
Americans under the command of B. D. Wil- 
son. They had been scouring the country in 
search of Castro, but failing to find him they 
were now in the San Bernardino mountanj 
hunting for bears. Gillespie sent word to thei 
to come to his aid, but the Californians, antici- 
pating the plan, met them at the Chino ranch,! 
and a fight ensued which is called the "Battlj 
of Chino," although little more than a skirmL 
Three of the Americans were wounded, and 
one of the Californians, a popular young man 
of good family, was killed. Varela, the origi- 
nator of the revolt, led the Californians, and 
he gave his word to Wilson that if he would 
surrender he and his men should not be 

210 History of Los AngeUs. 

harmed. The Americans thereupon gave them- 
selves up, but so great was the anger of the 
Californians over the death of their compatriot 
that they were restrained only with the utmost 
difficulty from slaughtering Wilson and the 
whole company. 

The capture of these men discouraged Gil- 
lespie, for there was no hope of succor from 
Stockton within two or three weeks. When 
General Flores, who had now taken charge of 
the military operations of the Californians, 
proposed that he leave the city with all the 
lionors of war, Gillespie gladly accepted the 
terms, and on the 30th of September he made 
his way to San Pedro. 

There was an understanding that he should 
be allowed to carry his field pieces as far as the 
water front, but that there he was to surren- 
der them to the Californians, Gillespie violat- 
ed the spirit of this undortsanding, for he 
spiked the guns, knocked off their breech knobs 
and flung them into the water at low tide. Sev- 
eral years later these cannon were rescued by 
B, D. Wilson, and hauled back to Los Angeles. 
Wilson at that time had a large store at the 
corner of Main and Commercial streets, where 
the Farmers and Merchants' bank now stands; 
he put the cannon in the eroiind at the corner, 
as mementoes of his narrow escape from death 
in the war. Two of them are still there, and 
the other two arc now to be seen in front of the 
Broadway entrance of the courthouse. 

Gillespie was about to start north on an 

71# Amtricans Enter Lot Angeles. 211 

American merchant ship that was lying in the 
harbor, when Captain Mervine arrived, most 
opportunely as it seemed, with the frigate Sa- 
vannah. On the 7th of October 350 men from 
the frigate, together with Gillespie's detach- 
ment, undertook to get up from San Pedro to 
Los Angeles, and the battle of Domingucz 
ranch took place, on the evening of that day 
and the morning of the next. The Californians 
were not numerous, but they were all mounted, 
and they had a fieldpiece, which they used with 
good effect. When the Americans charged 
and attempted to capture it, the Californians 
galloped off, dragging it after them with their 
reatas. At length when six of the Americans 
had been slain, and a number wounded they 
gave up the fight and retired to San Pedro. The 
men slain in the battle were buried on Dead 
Man's Island, at the mouth of San Pedro har- 



IJHE rebellion had now gained a good 
headway, and had spread all over the 
southern portion of California, with 
Los Angeles, the ancient home of rev- 
olutionary movements, for its head- 
quarters. At Santa Barbara the American 
force consisted of nine men under Lieutenant 
Talbot. Manuel Garfias was sent up from the 
pueblo to drive them out, but they, learning of 
his approach, contrived to escape into the San- 
ta Inez mountains, in order to evade parole. 
The Californians set fire to the brush to dis- 
lodge them, but they escaped over the ridge, 
and, striking out across the desert, came down 
finally into the San Joaquin valley. By this 
roundabout way, suffering terrible hardships, 
and with many exciting adventures, they came 
through to Monterey. One of these men was 
Elijah Moulton, who still lives, and has a res- 
idence in East Los Angeles. San Diego was 
also taken by the Californians, but they held 
i' for a short time only. 

The sentiment throughout the southern 
country in favor of the revolt was practically 
unanimous, although a few natives, like Juan 
Bandini of San Diego, and his brother-in-law, 
Arguello, favored the Americans, because 
they represented a strong government; and 


*— •^■■^ 

The Last Revolution in Los Angeles, 213 

all the resident Americans were doubtless 
hopeful that California would become part of 
the Union, however wary they may have been 
of expressing their sentiments. An army was 
mustered, which was at no time larger than 
500, the great difficulty being not so much to 
secure men as to arm them. The country was 
raked over for weapons of every kind. There 
were a few old muskets and pistols, and one 
ancient four-pounder cannon that had former- 
ly stood in front of the guardhouse on the 
plaza to be used in firing salutes. When Stock- 
ton took Los Angeles, in August, this gun had 
been hauled to the garden of Dona Inocencia 
Reyes, on Alameda street, and by her it was 
ordered buried. While the men were lament- 
ing the fact that they had no artillery. Dona 
Inocencia produced this cannon, and they in 
their gratitude named it the ^'Woman's Gun." 
It is now in the National Museum at Washing- 

But the worst difficulty with which the 
revolutionists had to contend was the lack of 
powder. There was a small amount of good 
powder stored in Los Angeles, of which they 
immediately possessed themselves. The pa- 
dres at San Gabriel had been accustomed to 
manufacture the article, and a knowledge of 
the method was supposed to be held there yet. 
A quantity of powder was ordered from the 
San Gabriel factory, but whether the formula 
had been forgotten or whether some one of 
the makers was friendly to the Americans and 
doctored the compound, is not known, but it 

214 Hittory of Los AngeUs. 

was a failure in the field. Guns that were 
loaded with it were altogether too deliberate 
about going off. 

In the battle of Dominguez ranch, which 
was described in the last chapter, the Califor- 
nians had just enough good powder for one 
charge in the gun that they hauled about with 
reatas — the "Woman's Gun." They maneu- 
vered for the most favorable opportunity, and 
then put in the charge, that shot doing almost 
the entire execution that was accomplished 
during the battle. 

Jose Maria Flores was elected governor 
and chief of command, with Jose Antonio Car- 
rillo, an habitual revolutionist, second, and 
Andres Pico, the late governor's brother, as 
third. The legislative body was called togeth- 
er, and such officers of the old government as 
remained on the ground were reinstated in 
their former positions. All of the principal 
men — Flores, Carrillo, Pico and others, had 
been admitted to parole, and hence were in 
danger of being shot if captured. Their justi- 
fication, as they claimed, lay in the fact that 
Gillespie had thrown them all into prison, 
which absolved them from their allegiance and 
nullified the parole. 

The Flores regime lasted from the middle 
of September until the following January — 
less than four months — but even that short 
period could not be passed without an attempt 
at a revolution — a wheel within a wheel — and 
this, too, at the time when the Americans were 

7%e Last Revolution in Los Angeles, 215 

closing in on the city. In December Flores 
was seized, deposed from power, and thrown 
into jail as a traitor. The difficulty arose out 
of his threat to send the Americans captured 
on the Chino ranch to Mexico for safe-keep- 
ing. Several of them, particularly B. D. Wil- 
son, had powerful friends through marriage 
connections. From the interior of the jail 
Flores saw things somewhat differently, and 
declared his entire willingness to have the 
Chino prisoners remain in the country. 

A day or two after the affair at the Domin- 
guez ranch, Commodore Stockton arrived at 
San Pedro with about 800 men. Had he then 
made a quick dash for Los Angeles he could 
easily have taken it, there being few to op- 
pose, and they so badly equipped. The Cali- 
fomians, however, led by Carrillo. moved 
their cavalry about over the adjoining hills 
with a rapidity that c^ave an impression of 
great numbers, and this effect was heightened 
by the droves of loose horses they urged be- 
fore them. In his reports Stockton speaks of 
the enemy as having 800 cavalry. Through the 
whole rebellion the Americans proceeded un- 
der the idea that the Californians had at least 
2000 men in arms. Before the occupation the 
Americans had been taueht to beh'eve that the 
Californians were cowardly, and that they 
could not be induced to fight. The recent ex- 
periences in and around Los Angeles had 
opened their eyes to some dangerous qualities 
in the native cavalry, and they were presently 


216 History of Los AngtUt. 

to have a much severer lesson in the battle of 
San Pasqual. After waiting severs! days at 
San Pedro, with no improvement of the out- 
look, Stockton sailed away for San Diego, in- 
tending to begin his attack from that place. 

The commodore had left Fremont in Mon- 
terey, under instructions to follow as soon as 
possible, with such recruits as he had secured. 
Fremont started south by water, but, learning 
that no horses were to be had at San Pedro, 
and that the entire country was up in arms, he 
thought best to return to Monterey, increase 
the size of his command, and go south by land, 
taking with him ample supplies and plenty of 
animals. This consumed time, and it was not 
until the middle of November that he left 
Monterey, and he arrived at Los Angeles too 
late to be of service in the active part of the 
campaign. On his way south he captured 
Jesus Pico, a cousin of the late governor, who 
had taken the parole, but was discovered in 
arms. Fremont ordered him to be put to 
death, but finally pardoned him. on the tearful 
implorations of his wife and children. This 
act of clemency did a good deal to restore bet- 
ter feeling between the Californians and the 

In the meantime a detachment of the 
American army was making its way across the 
continent under General Stephen W. Kearny, 
who had left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with 
i6oa men, and a full equipment of animals and 
supplies, in the month of June, 1846. As he 


The Last Revolution in Los Angeles, IVJ 

came through Arizona and New Mexico Kear- 
ny raised the Stars and Stripes at every place 
of importance that he passed, and left a num- 
ber of garrisons. On his way he had fallen in 
with Kit Carson, the famous scout who had 
been with Fremont's party, and was now on his 
mission to carry the news to Washington. 
From him Kearny learned that Stockton had 
taken complete possession of California, the 
rebellion having broken out since his depart- 
ure. Acting on this information, Kearny did 
not hesitate to distribute his force along the 
line as he came through, until he had only 121 
left in the command. He induced Carson to 
commit his dispatches to some one else, and 
turn back with him. This was a fortunate 
move on Kearny's part, for Carson's services 
were presently to be in great demand. 

Early in December the party crossed the 
Colorado river, and presently was met by a de- 
tachment of twenty men under Captain Gilles- 
pie, whom Stockton had sent out to act as an 
escort into San Diego. As they came to a 
stream called the San Bernardo they learned 
that General Andres Pico was encamped near 
the Indian village of San Pasqual. By this 
time the soldiers had heard of the rebellion, of 
the driving out of the Los Angeles garrison, 
and the defeat at Dominguez, and all were 
eager for a chance to meet the enemy. Carson 
had assured them that the Californians were 
cowards and would not stand against a de- 
termined attack, and there was probably a dis- 

318 History of Lot AmgeUs. 

position among Kearny's men to show Gilles- 
pie and his following that the rebels would cut 
a sorry figure when the regulars fell upon 

Early in the morning of December 5, 1846, 
as the Americans were riding along in the bed 
of the San Bernardo, near the village of San 
Pasqual, which is thirty-eight miles northeast 
of San Diego, they suddenly came upon Pico 
and about eighty Califomians, all mounted 
and armed with lances. The lance used by the 
Califomians was about eight feet long, light, 
strong and furnished with a sharp blade at the 
point. It was a very effective weapon for a 
short-range combat. 

The Americans were badly strung out, and 
in no condition for a fight. Their guns and 
pistols were wet with the morning dew, and 
refused to discharge. The mounts were tired 
and ill-fed, many of them mules that had re- 
cently been pressed into service and were hard 
tc manage. There was every reason why the 
force, if its commander had used average mil- 
itary intelligence, should have been kept out of 
a battle, and by a little maneuvering it might 
easily have been avoided. The moment the 
Califomians came in sight, however. Captain 
Johnson, who led the van, seemed to have lost 
all control over himself, and he dashed for- 
ward with a yell, followed by the small party 
of a dozen men, who were in advance of the 
main body of the Americans. 

A moment later Johnson lay on the ground. 

The Last Revolution in Los Angeles. 219 

shot through the head, and several of his men 
were wounded. The Americans fell back in 
confusion, until the next detachment came up, 
which consisted of about fifty dragoons under 
Captain Moore. Then the Californians 
wheeled and galloped away. 

Instantly the whole party of Americans 
started in pursuit, and the race lasted for half 
a mile of running. By this time the Ameri- 
cans were scattered and spread out, owing to 
the unevenness of the ground, and to the fact 
that those mounted on mules could not keep 
up with those mounted on horses. Looking 
back and discovering the state of things, Pico 
halted his men, turned them about, and the 
real battle began. 

It proved very serious for the Americans, 
and although generally recorded as a victorv 
for that side, by reason of their holding the 
field, while the others finally retreated, it was 
in effect a defeat, and a bad one. In an in- 
credibly short space of time eighteen Ameri- 
cans lay dead, stabbed by lances, and as many 
more were severely wounded. Of the enemy 
few were hurt, and none were killed. The ex- 
traordinary percentage of Americans killed 
and wounded, out of the number engaged, 
makes the battle unique in the country's his- 
tory. Surgeon John S. Griffin, whose account 
of the affair was that of an intelligent eye- 
witness, declares that not more than fifty of 
the Americans eyer saw the enemy, and cer- 

220 History of Lot AngtUt. 

tainly not more than that number were actu- 
ally engaged in the fight, and yet thirty-seven 
were either killed or wounded. 

Toward the close of the affair an effort was 
made to get one of the howitzers into action, 
but the mules attached to it became fright- 
ened and ran away, and the piece fell into the 
hands of the enemy. 

Captain Moore, who led the second charge, 
was killed, and General Kearny and Captain 
Gillespie were both severely cut with lances. 
The wounded were in the care of Dr. Griffin, 
who afterward became a citizen of Los An- 
geles, and was for more than a quarter of a 
century its leading physician. He was also a 
large land owner, controlling at one time most 
of the present site of Pasadena and of East 
F.^s Angeles, and he was one of the founders 
of the present water system of the city. 

The effect of this engagement was to badly 
demoralize the forces of General Kearny. 
Their opinion of the valor and the fightinfr 
qualities of the Californians underwent an en- 
tire change, and although the number of men 
still ready for service probably exceeded those 
of the command of Pico, they did not venture 
out of the camp which thev had hastily thrown 
up. It was cold and wet, and the provisions 
were plvm" out. TI;<>n it wf.-! t^-f Kit ParBn^i 
came to the front. Accompanied hy Lieuten- 
ant Beale of the regular army, and an Indian, 

The Last Revolution in Los Angeles. 221 

he crept past the enemy by night and suc- 
ceeded in getting to San Diego. 

Stockton immediately sent reinforcements 
to Kearny, consisting of 200 marines, and with 
this escort the overland company managed to 
get through to the coast. 

Stockton had come to San Diego, after his 
brief stay at San Pedro, in the last days of 
October. He experienced considerable diffi- 
culty in getting into the bay with his flagship, 
the Congress, and at one time very nearly had 
it aground, but finally managed to get over 
the bar into the harbor. Although the Amer- 
icans still held nominal control of San Diego, 
the condition of affairs on shore was not very 
promising. The Californian men had all es- 
caped into the interior, taking with them the 
horses and cattle, and leaving the women and 
children for the Americans to support or to let 
starve. Numerous foraging parties were at 
once dispatched into the country, to bring in 
stock, for horses were necessary to Stockton's 
plan for an expedition to the north by land. 
Some of these were successful, and brought in 
not only a plentiful supply of fresh meat, but 
also horses enough to fit out a cavalry com- 
pany made up of sailors. The efforts of the 
latter to ride without putting both arms 
around the horses' necks afforded the camp 
plenty of amusement. 

It was on one of these raids after stock 
that the Bandini flag incident took place. Cap- 

212 tfistory of Lot AmfU*. 

tain Hensley, who had been sent down into 
Lower Caiitomia, was returning in triumph 
with 500 cattle and 140 horses and mules, 
which he had obtained from Juan Bandini, an 
enthusiastic sympathizer with the American 
cause. He was accompanied by Bandini and 
his family, who were making their way to San 
Diego, l^e American officer was expressing 
his regret that he had no flag with which to 
march into camp with his booty in proper 
style, when Juan Bandinl's wife, who was the 
daughter of the former governor, Arguello, 
offered to construct one. Three of her chil- 
dren were playing about, one dressed in white, 
one in blue, and one in red. Ordering these 
dresses changed for others, she hastily cut out 
and stitched together the red and white stripes 
and the white stars on the blue field. Two of 
these children afterwards became residents of 
Los Angeles, and many members of the Ban- 
dini family in the next generation now Hve in 
and about this city. The story is a pretty one, 
and as it is vouched for by credible eye-wit- 
nesses, we may believe it to be true. This was 
the first American flag ever made in California. 


-" --■ 




BHE American force which set out from 
San Diego to capture Los Angeles 
consisted of about 500 men, nine- 
tenths of* whom were Stockton's sail- 
ors and marines, and the remainder 
Kearny's dragoons. The commission under 
which Kearny had been sent to California 
made him military governor of the territory, 
thus superseding Stockton, as well as Fre- 
mont, whom Stockton had proposed to make 
civil governor. The commodore seems to have 
understood that Kearny's authority went be- 
yond his own, for he offered, as soon as Kear- 
ny came into camp from San Pasqual, to turn 
over the control of affairs to him. The latter 
was, however, suffering from a wound, or he 
may have thought it only courtesy to allow 
Stockton to continue with the work of prepar- 

At all eyents he certainly declined the com- 
mand at that time. But when the expedition 
was ready to start, December 29, 1846, Kearny 
asked who was to take charge, and, on being 
told by Commodore Stockton that Lieutenant 
Rowan had been appointed, he announced that 
he would prefer to occupy that position him- 
self. Stockton thereupon appointed him to the 

224 HUtory of Los AngeUi. 

This was the beginning of an undignified 
controversy between the two commanders, 

which presently involved many of the officers 
stationed in Los Angeles, and at last brought 
Fremont to a court-martial in Washington. 
There is no doubt that of the two principals to 
this affair, Stockton's behavior was the more 
teprehensible, for the military governorship 
certainly lay with Kearny, and not with the 
commodore ; but, on the other hand, there was 
a lamentable lack of judgment shown by Kear- 
ny in all his acts, and a seeming desire to 
make trouble rather than to smooth over diffi- 

When the party had been on the march a 
few days they were met by Julian Workman 
and Charles Flugge of Los Angeles, who had 
been sent out by the Californians to negotiate 
for a temporary cessation of hostilities. They 
bore a letter from Flores, in which he asserted 
that news had been received from Mexico that 
the war with the United States was at an end, 
and that satisfactory terms of settlement were 
now being negotiated. He suggested that un- 
der the circumstances it might be well to wait 
and see whether bloodshed in California could 
not be averted. 

When Stockton read this letter — he seems 
to have ignored Kearny in the matter, al- 
though the latter was theoretically in com- 
mand — he returned answer orally that he had 
released Flores on a parole of honor, in spite 

Z.^5 Angeles Regained, 22& 

of which he was now in arms; therefore if he 
caught him he would shoot him, but would 
have no further dealings with him. 

On the 8th of January, eleven days having 
been consumed on the march, the party came 
to the San Gabriel river, and prepared to cross, 
just north of the place where the bridge of the 
Santa Fe railroad to Orange now spans the 
stream. At this spot, which is situated about 
ten miles southeast of Los Angeles, the battle 
of San Gabriel was fought. The Califomians 
had mustered all their forces — a total of 500 
mounted men — and with four pieces of artil- 
lery were posted in an advantageous position 
on high ground, a quarter of a mile back from 
the river. The Americans sent forward their 
artillery, and were about to drag it across the 
stream, when some one warned Kearny that 
there was quicksand in the river, and that the 
cannon would be lost. There was a momen- 
tary halt, and some confusion, for the roar of 
the enemy's guns was already heard. Stock- 
ton rode up, and was told by Kearny what 
was the matter. "Damn the quicksand," 
shouted Stockton, 'Tbring up those guns." 
Kearny fell back, and allowed Stockton to di- 
rect affairs. The cannon were hurried across, 
and no quicksand was encountered. 

A heavy cannonading was beg^n by the 
Americans, under cover of which the troops 
waded the river, and, climbing up on the high- 
er ground, formed into squares to resist the 

226 History of Los Amgtles. 

attack of cavalry. The Califomians charged, 
but were unable to stand the fire, and fell 
back. Presently the whole line of the enemy 
began to give way in a slow and orderly re- 
treat. They continued to fire their cannon at 
intervals as they fell back, until they were en- 
tirely out of range. 

The engagement lasted only about an hour 
and a half. The Americans lost two killed and 
eight wounded. The loss of the Californians 
was about the same. Had the latter possessed 
powder of any value the American loss would 
undoubtedly have been much greater. The 
Americans advanced, with their band playing 
"Hail Columbia," and took up the ground that 
Flores had occupied before the battle opened, 
and here encamped for the day and the fol- 
lowing night. 

On the morning of January 9, 1847, ^^ 
Americans advanced toward Los Angeles and 
came upon the enemy about noon, three miles 
south of the city. There was a long-range ar- 
tillery duel, in which neither side effected 
much damage on the other. The Americans 
formed a large hollow square, with the hag- 
gage in the center, and advanced slowly for 
about four hours, driving the enemy before 
them. Three times Flores ordered his cavalry 
to charge, but when they came within a few 
hundred feet of the American line they encoun- 
tered a fire so severe that they were compelled 
to withdraw. Stockton had five men wounded. 

■ « < 1 1 tf*^tim 

* T 

Los Angeles Regained, 227 

but none killed. At about 4 o'clock the enemy 
gave up the struggle and retreated. The 
Americans crossed the Los Angeles river, and 
encamped for the night within sight of the 

Next morning, January loth, a small dele- 
gation of citizens waited on Stockton and in- 
formed him that the Californian army had fled, 
and that the people were prepared to surren- 
der the city without resistance, if they could 
have an agreement that their lives and prop- 
erty would be respected. They were evidently 
in fear that the place was to be sacked. Stock- 
ton assured tham that no injury would be done 
peaceable citizens, and they went away. In 
spite of these friendly advances on the part of 
the rebellious city, the Americans proceeded 
slowly and with great caution. About noon 
they came to the plaza. The streets were 
filled with people, some few of whom showed 
their disapproval by curses and shaking of 
fists. The hills above were crowded with 
horsemen, who fled at the approach of sol- 
diers sent to dislodge them. 

The band played its repertoire of national 
and popular airs, and the Californians forgot 
their anger and crowded to listen. Gillespie 
led the way to the old adobe on Main street, 
which he had formerly occupied as headquar- 
ters, and asked permission himself to run up 
the colors which he had been compelled to 
haul down some four months before. The per- 
mission was granted him, and the men cheered 

238 History of Zj>z ArngtUs. 

lustily as they saw the flag restored to its ac- 
customed spot. Los Angeles was once more 
an American city, and this time it was des- 
tined permanently to remain so. 

A strong detachment of artillery was 
placed on the hill directly above the city, and 
the chief topographical engineer of General 
Kearny's division was instructed to prepare 
plans for a fort in that location. Before this 
work had advanced very far Kearny left the 
city, and Lieutenant J. W. Davidson of the 
First United States Dragoons was ordered to 
enlarge the plan and begin the work. This 
was finally completed by July 4th of that year, 
1847, and was named Fort Moore. It was on 
the hill above the present Broadway tunnel. 

Looking about for a place in which to es- 
tablish his headquarters, as he entered the 
town, Stockton discovered a large, well-fur- 
nished house, with its doors open and appar- 
ently quite unoccupied. It was the residence 
of Dona Encarnacion Abila, at 14, 16, 18 Oli- 
vera street. This building is still to be seen 
standing (1901), although now in very bad re- 
pair. Olivera is a small street running out 
from the plaza, north of Marchessault Fear- 
ing lest the vengeance of the American sol- 
diery might fall upon the inhabitants of the 
pueblo, the Senora Abila had left the house in 
charge of a young man, and escaped into the 
country; and he, attracted by the playing of 
the band, had left it unguarded and standing 
open. Here Stockton made his headquarters 

Los Angeles Regained. Z19 

during his stay, to the great discomfiture, no 
doubt, of the loyalist owner of the property. 
General Fremont secured for his use, and that 
of the civil government which he established, 
a series of low adobes that occupied the space 
where the engine-house now stands, on the 
southeast corner of the plaza. Adjoining 
these to the west was the residence of J. A. 
Carrillo, pretentious for its day, on the spot 
where the Pico house, now called the National 
hotel, was afterward constructed. 

On the day that Stockton and Kearny en- 
tered Los Angeles, Fremont, coming down 
from the north, encamped at San Fernando. 
He had made the march slowly, acting on re- 
peated messages from the commodore, who 
advised the utmost caution. Santa Barbara 
was retaken as he passed, and garrisoned 
against further attack. Learning that the Cal- 
ifornian army was encamped on the Verdugo 
lanch, Fremont sent out Jesus Pico, the man 
whose life he had spared, to confer with the 

After the battle on the mesa, on the gtii of 
January, the Californians scattered, many of 
them laying down their arms and returning to 
their homes. Flores, mindtu! of the threat of 
Stockton that he would put him to death if 
captured, took a small escort and escaped over 
the border into Mexico. The command was 
transferred to Andres Pico, with J. A. Carrillo 
second in authority, and they were advised by 
the escaping leader to yield on the best terms 



History of Lot AnggUs. 

possible. Two days later Jesus Pico came into 
the rebel camp and announced that Fremont 
was at hand with a large force ; and he urged 
the Californians to surrender to him, rather 
than to Stockton, in the hope that they might 
secure better conditions. 

On the 13th of January, 1847, articles of 
capitulation were ratified between the Califor- 
nians and Fremont, at the Cahuenga ranch 
house, only a few miles out of Los Angeles. It 
was agreed that the Californians should sur- 
render their artillery and "public arms," and 
should take the parole not to assist in carry- 
ing on war against the United States. Such as 
preferred to go out of the territory into Mexico 
would be allowed to depart, and those that re- 
mained were to be pardoned for their partici- 
pation in the rebellion, irrespective of whether 
they had been under parole or not. Until a 
treaty of peace should be signed between the 
United States and Mexico, no resident of Cali- 
fornia was to be compelled to take the oath of 
allegiance. The "public arms" thus secured 
amounted to a handsome total of six muskets, 
and two diminutive cannon — the "Woman's 
Gun" and one other. 

The evidence is clear that Fremont knew 
of the occupation of Los Angeles by Stockton 
at the time he entered into this agreement 
with the Californians; and it was afterwards 
charged by his enemies— of which he had al- 
ways a flourishing crop — that he overstepped 
the bounds of his authority in making terms 

» « ^ ,^ V , 

Los Angeles Regained, 231 

with the belligerents almost in the very pres- 
ence of his superior. It was an infraction of 
military etiquette, to say the least, but it did 
not displease Stockton, who was, on the con- 
trary, rather relieved to have the matter thus 
taken out of his hands. He had repeatedly 
threatened to put to death Flores and others 
who had broken their parole, and such sever- 
ity, if actually carried out, would have made 
the complete pacification of the country diffi- 
cult, if not impossible. Fremont had provided 
him a way out of an awkward dilemma. 

There may have been another reason why 
Stockton was well satisfied with Fremont's 
course in this matter. The tendency toward 
disagreement and mutual suspicion that had 
always been rife among the Californians, and 
which was indigenous to the southern pueblo, 
seems by this time to have thoroughly infected 
the Americans, and the row between Stockton 
and Kearny was assuming serious proportions. 
The former may have been the more ready 
to overlook any seeming irregularity in Fre- 
mont's conduct in the hope of obtaining his 
support in the controversy. 

On the day of the surrender at Cahuenga, 
Fremont sent on his second in command to 
Los Angeles, with instructions to find out 
which of the two — Stockton or Kearny — was 
in authority. He found that each claimed to 
be the civil and military governor of the state, 
although they each admitted privately that as 

233 History of Los AmgtUt. 

soon as peace was restored in the territory 
they intended to make Fremont civil governor. 
Kearny based his claim on the fact that he 
had been commissioned by the national gov- 
ernment to take entire charge of affairs, his 
instructions bearing a later date than any held 
by Stockton. As a matter of fact, this claim 
was entirely valid, and Stockton's position was 
untenable. The latter held that Kearny's in- 
structions were based on a theory that a state 
of war existed in California, and that the coun- 
try was in alien hands, whereas, before Kear- 
ny had come to the state the Americans had 
secured complete control, and a civil govern- 
ment was practically in operation. To this he 
added the argument that when Kearny had 
first arrived at San Diego and was offered 
the reins of authority by Stockton he had de- 
clined to accept them, 

Fremont's emissary dodged the whole 
question by making his report to both claim- 
ants, and when Fremont himself came into the 
pueblo the next day he made an official call 
upon each of them, and waited for develop- 

On the i6th of January the matter came to 
a direct issue upon Kearny's sending instruc- 
tions to Stockton to proceed no further in the 
formation of a civil government for the terri- 
tory. Stockton refused to obey, and issued an 
order removing Kearny from command of the 
troops. For the purpose of putting Fremont 


Los Angeles Regained. 233 

on record, Kearny sent word to hiin not to 
make certain contemplated changes in his bat- 
talion. He then sent for Fremont, and urged 
him to come over to his side, assuring him 
that he would make him governor in return. 
But Fremont was loyal to Stockton, to whom 
he felt himself indebted, and he refused to be 
led away by a bribe. He sent a formal com- 
munication to Kearny to the effect that until 
the latter and Stockton settled their differences 
as to their respective authority he would be 
compelled to take his orders, as before, from 
Commodore Stockton. 

A day or two later, finding himself utterly 
ignored in the plans of Stockton and Fremont ' 
for the governing of the territory, Kearny ad- 
dressed a note to the commodore, in which he 
said that to avoid further discussion and dis- 
agreement, which would bring scandal upon 
the powers they represented, he would with- 
draw for the present to San Diego, and await 
further instructions from Washington. On 
January i8th he left Los Angeles with his dra- 
goons and marched south. 

January 19th Stockton issued to Fremont 
his commission as civil governor of the state, 
a position which he held about fifty days, al- 
though his technical right to it is open to ques- 
tion. Stockton offered the place of secretary 
of state to Gillespie, but the latter preferred 
tc be major of the battalion. An order was is- 
sued, convening a legislative council, which 

234 Hiitory of Los ' Angelti. 

was to contain, among others, ex-governor AI- 
varado, Juan Bandini and his brother-in-law, 
Santiago Arguello, and Thomas O. Larkin, the 
American consul, who had been captured earl^ 
in the rebellion, and was held as a prisoner 
in Los Angeles through the whole affair. But 
this gathering never came together, for early 
i;i March Colonel Richard B. Mason arrived 
with new instructions from the national gov- 
ernment that left no doubt as to the pre-emi- 
nence of Kearny's military and civil author- 
ity. Stockton was no longer in command on 
the coast, having been succeeded by Commo- 
dore Shubrick, and the latter at once recog- 
nized Kearny as governor of the state. Fre- 
mont came up to Monterey, whither Kearny 
had repaired, and he also admitted the author-. 
ity of Kearny. About this time Fremont and 
Colonel Mason, who was Kearny's chief of 
staff, and who was subsequently appointed 
governor, became involved in a quarrel, out of 
which came a challenge to a duel. The affair 
of honor never took place, owing to the inter- 
vention of General Kearny. Fremont was or- 
dered to Washington, where he was tried be- 
fore a court-martial for disobedience and con- 
duct prejudicial to good order and military dis- 
cipline. After a long and tempestuous trial 
he was found technically guilty, and recom- 
mended to the clemency of the president. But 
Fremont declined to accept the verdict as a 
just one and resigned from the army. 




■OS ANGELES was under military rule 
from January of 1847, when the 
Americans took possession of the 
city for the second time, to August, 
1848 — a period of nineteen months. 
During the time of his quasi-governorship, 
Fremont kept his headquarters at Los Ange- 
les, because it had been the capital under the 
Mexican administration, but as soon as Gener- 
al Kearny came to be recog;nized as governor, 
he sent for the archives and had" them brought 
up to Monterey. This put a final quietus on 
the long-cherished ambition of the southern 

On the first of March Kearny sent instruc- 
tions to Fremont to muster out his battalion, 
and report in person at Monterey. Colonel P. 
St. George Cooke, who was in command of a 
battalion of Mormon volunteers from Mis- 
souri, was appointed to succeed Fremont in 
charge of affairs at Los Angeles. Through the 
disbanding of the California Battalion, a regi- 
ment which Fremont had gathered in Califor- 
nia, Los Angeles gained a number of settlers. 
The Mormon command came up from San 
Luis Rey, in San Diego county, where it had 
been stationed, and encamped in Los Angeles. 
These were the men that did most of the work 

236 HUlory of Lof\AitgtUs. 

on the fort. They had it nearly completed 
when they were summoned to Monterey, to be 
mustered out. Colonel Cooke was succeeded 
in the month of May by Colonel J. B. Steven- 
son, of the New York regiment of volunteers. 
Thie regiment, like the Mormon battalion, had 
been enlisted on the understanding that when 
the war came to an end, the men were to be 
paid off in California, and allowed to remain 
there. Thus the conflict between the United 
States and Mexico brought many settlers to 

The presence of so large a body of soldiers 
in Los Angeles, varying from 300 to looo, had 
the effect not only of finally demolishing all 
plans for rebellion against the new authority, 
but also of rapidly initiating the Spanish city 
into American manners and customs. The up- 
per class Californians, those whose blood was 
largely or entirely Spanish, and who had ed- 
ucation and a property interest, adapted them- 
selves in dignified fashion to the new order. 
When the state constitutional convention met 
in 1849, J. A. Carrillo and Manuel Dominguez 
were elected delegates from Los Angeles, as 
representing the progressive Spanish-Ameri- 
can element. W, M. Gwin, who was afterward 
United States senator, happening to remark. 
In the course of his argument on some point, 
that the constitution of the state was not 
framed so much for the original inhabitants of 
the territory as for the newcomers of American 
birth, Carrillo was on his feet in an instant, 


-'^«^« ■ •■ i»W Mt^u^t-itti^m^^ 

The Pueblo is Made American. 237 

declaring that he considered himself and his 
fellow-Californians just as true and patriotic 
Americans as any members of that body; and 
the remark brought out long and enthusiastic 
applause. But in the lower class of Califor- 
nians the same adaptability to new conditions 
did not develop. There were no rebellions, al- 
though rumors to that effect were incessant; 
but the presence of the Americans, or "grin- 
gos," as they came now to be called, was more 
and more resented, and, in the end, acting upon 
a bad example set by the Americans them- 
selves, a great amount of lawlessness sprang 
up among this class. 

Colonel Stevenson found his position by no 
means an easy one, although his difficulties 
were identical with those of the governor and 
all others in authority in the state, who were 
attempting to apply American ideas of justice 
and civic improvement, through the awkward 
medium of old Spanish laws. Mason's instruc- 
tions to his subordinates had been to inter- 
fere as little as possible with the civil affairs. 
They were to keep order and assist in the ad- 
ministration of the laws as they existed. This 
was by no means as easy as it sounds. Ques- 
tions were constantly coming up, as between 
the military and civil authorities, and on sev- 
eral occasions things came to a complete dead- 

In the year 1847, ^" ayuntamiento had been 
chosen in Los Angeles that was made up en- 
tirely of native-born Californians. They were 

238 HiiUny of Los AngtUs. 

informed by Colonel Stevenson that they 
might ^o on with the government of the city, 
just as before, with the one limitation that 
they were not to give away or sell any of the 
pueblo real estate. The "Very Illustrious" 
body continued to hold meetings, after its an- 
cient custom, observing its traditional formali- 
ties with all the more pomp and circumstance 
by reason of the fact that the Americans were 
looking on, In the month of June of that year 
the records show that one of the regidores, or 
councilmen, was fined $io for impoliteness to- 
ward another member. A month or two later 
the second alcalde caused the arrest of Varcla, 
the same who had raised tlie tumult and driven 
out Gillespie and started the rebellion a year 
before. Colonel Stevenson, for some reason, 
set him free; whereupon the alcalde resigned, 
and the ayuiitamiento left hh place vacant as 
a standing protest. 

This experience and several others of a 
similar character led Stevenson to suggest to 
the governor that he appoint at least one 
American in the next ayuntamiento, and he, 
acting upon this advice, notified the people of 
Los Angeles that Stephen C. Foster, who had 
come to the coast with the New York regi- 
ment as their interpreter, and who for nearly 
half a century was destined lo play an active 
part in the city affairs, was to be alcalde. This 
was, of course, an assumption of authority on 
the party of the governor to which he could 
lay no legal claim. It. was, in fact, a war 

The Pueblo is Made American. 239 

measure, and it seems to have been seriously 
resented by the citizens of native birth. The 
out-going alcalde refused to comply with cus- 
tom and swear in his successor, Foster, and 
Stevenson cut the Gordian knot by swearing 
him in himself. The other members of the 
ayuntamiento all resigned, and Foster and 
Don Abel Stearns, who had been elected 
sindico, or city attorney and tax collector, ran 
the government for a time. 

They seem to have conducted the city's 
affairs very successfully, A chain gang was 
established and put to work on the dam, or 
headworks on the river, and on the irrigating 
ditch, both of which had fallen into disrepair. 
Several small Indian settlements within the 
pueblo, which were haunts of vice and filth, 
were demolished, and their inhabitants driven 
out — a harsh but probably salutary measure. 
Vagrants were brought to time, and some reg- 
ulation of the liquor traffic was attempted. 

In December of 1848, notice was issued for 
an election of a new ayuntamiento, but the 
people paid no attention to it; whereupon the 
governor announced that the present officers 
would continue to hold until the voters of Los 
Angeles made up their minds to elect success- 
ors for them. In May of the following year, 
1849, the governor learned that the fit of sulks 
was over, and he issued another order for an 
election. This time a considerable vote was 
cast. The ayuntamiento chosen was made up 
of Californians, except that John Temple was 

2M History of Los AngeUs. 

elected sindico. By 1850 the prejudice against 
admitting Americans to a share of the local 

fovernment seems to have died out, for Abel 
teams was chosen first alcalde that year, 
with D, W, Alexander and B, D. Wilson also 
members of the ayuntamiento. Although the 
Americans continued for many years to be in 
the minority at the polls, they were always, 
after this, admitted to more than their propor- 
tion of the local offices. 

In the year 1847, Los Angeles being still 
a military post and full of soldiers, a great cel- 
ebration was held of the Fourth of July. This 
was the first recognition of Independence Day 
in the old Spanish pueblo. Col. Stevenson is- 
sued a proclamation, in which he called for a 
celebration of the day. to be combined with 
the dedication of the fort, now nearly com- 
pleted. The troops under his command were 
instructed to make ready for the affair, and to 
put up the best showinR that was possible. 
"Circumstances over which we have no con- 
rol," says Col. Stevenson in his proclamat-on, 
"have prevented the command at this post be- 
ing completely unifarmcd. but each officer will 
appear on the Fourth with the perfect equip- 
ments of his corps, as far as he has them; and 
most perfect cleanliness as well in arms and 
accoutrements as in person will be required of 

At sunrise the national salute was fired 
and the colors displayed for the first time at 
the fort. At 10 o'clock the soldiers marched 

■ -rlta."r i>i.""»zs»_'i t^ 

The Pueblo is Made American, 241 

through the town and up to the summit of the 
hill, where they formed a hollow square and 
listened to the reading of the Declaration of 
Independence. This was translated into Span- 
ish by Stephen C. Foster, for the benefit of the 
large crowd of Californians who lad e^athered 
to witness the celebration. Prof. J. M. Guinn 
of the Los Angeles Historical Society, who 
has written an entertaining description of the 
event, suggests that possibly, as the Califor- 
nians sat on their horses and listened to the 
fierce denunciation of King George in the fa- 
mous document, though they were not able to 
comprehend quite what it was all about, they 
could recognize a pronunciamento when they 
heard it, and they knew from experience that 
a revolution must follow, and they smiled, no 
doubt, at the thought that they would soon 
behold the grinf^os falling upon one another in 
a row among themselves. 

The fort, or "field works," as the procla- 
mation calls it, was then dedicated and named 
in honor of Captain Benjamin D. Moore of the 
First United States Dragoons, who fell in the 
battle of San Pasqual. Stevenson speaks of 
him as "a perfect specimen of an American 
officer, whose character for every virtue and 
accomplishment that adorns a gentleman was 
only equaled by the reputation he had ac- 
(]uired in the field for his gallantry as an offi- 
'"cr and a soldier." The honor of raising the 
flag for the first time over the fort was grant- 
ed to Lieutenant Davidson, who had taken 

242 History of Los Angeies. 

charge of the work almost from the beginning. 
During the Civil War he attained to the rank 
of major general. The flagpole consisted of 
two tree trunks brought down from the San 
Bernardino mountains by a special expedition 
sent out for that purpose, and spliced togeth- 
er, making a shaft of about 150 feet in length. 
The colors flying from this, on the top of the 
high hill, could be seen for miles in every di- 
rection. All traces of the fort and the famous 
old flagpole have long since disappeared. 

Through the whole of the year 1847 there 
were frequent rumors of intended attacks by 
the Mexicans as well as of rebellious plottings 
on the part of Californians, but these do not 
appear to have had any substantial basis. 
Mexico had its hands full with the Americans 
on its own soil, and the appeals of Flores and 
Pico received little attention. The native Cal- 
ifornians were accustomed to whisper among 
themselves about the return of Flores, leading 
a great army, and the flight of the Americans ; 
but they never seriously contemplated rebel- 
lion on their own account. Nevertheless, Col- 
onel Stevenson, as was perhaps natural from 
his lack of acquaintance with the Spanish 
character, and his ignorance of the true state 
of affairs in Mexico, gave ear to these rumors, 
and. like a careful soldier, was never off his 
guard. The construction of Fort Moore was 
really due to a fear of attack from Mexico. 

On the night of December 7, 1847, ^ fright- 
ful disaster occurred as an indirect conse- 

7^ Pueblo is Made American* 243 

quence of these persistent rumors. On the af- 
ternoon of that day an old woman resident of 
Los Angeles called at the headquarters of Col- 
onel Stevenson, which were located on the 
spot where the Ferguson livery stable now 
stands, nearly opposite the Baker block, and 
informed him that there was a plot on foot 
to attack the guardhouse that night and cap- 
ture the city, slaying or driving out all Amer- 
icans. If there was any plot of that descrip- 
tion, and if the whole affair was not a fabric of 
the old woman's imagination, it certainly did 
not involve any number of people nor any citi- 
zens of responsibility. However, Colonel 
Stevenson thought best to take no chances. 
He doubled the sentries at the guardhouse, 
which was on the west side of New High 
street, in the rear of the St. Elmo site. The 
men were all nervous and on the alert, and 
when, about midnight, one of them saw a cow 
off in the darkness he mistook it for a horse- 
man and fired. The guard turned out, and 
everything was put in readiness for an attack. 
When the mistake was discovered, arms were 
restored to the racks, and the men were pre- 
paring to return to their beds. Then an ar- 
tilleryman, who had lighted a fuse ready to 
discharge a fieldpiece, if that should be ne- 
cessary, threw it, only half extinguished, into 
an ammunition chest. The explosion that fol- 
lowed shook the entire city and brought the 
population all out of their homes. The guard- 
house was blown to fragments, some of the 


•^■HUS far the history of Los Angeles 
WTjlM city has been so intims'tely connected 
H ^H with the history of the whole terri- 
|^^0 tory of Californis that the narrstive 
has, of necessity, often strayed oat- 
side the local limits. Los Angeles was not 
only the largest and most prosperous city of 
Spanish and Mexican California, but it was 
also the most considerable political factor of 
the territory, a leader in all plots and rebel- 
lions, and for a time the capital. But now, 
under American rule, the relation of the city 
to the state undergoes a change, Los Angeles 
presently ceases to be the largest center of 
population in the territory. The little town of 
Verba Bucna, which had recently been re- 
christened San Francisco, and which at the 
time of the American occupation contained 
perhaps a thousand people, is suddenly flooded 
with a great wave of immigration, as a result 
of the discovery of gold, so that Los Angeles 
becomes little more than a village in compar- 
ison. Other towns besides San Francisco 
spring up in the northern part of the state, 
rivaling the southern city in size, and'surpass- 
ing it, for the time being, in business activity. 
The political center of the state shifts to the 
north, where is the largest body of voters and 

GUi/omia £mUrs the Union. 24? 

the greatest property interest. Under the 
American system, moreover, the city, as such, 
has no longer any status in the political affairs 
of the territory. Its residents have votes as 
individuals, but the municipality exerci&tis no 
power save in its own local limits. 

But before leaving the wide field of the 
state for the narrower one of the city, it may 
not be amiss to complete the narration in brief 
form, down to California's admission into the 
Union. Upon the departure of Kearny, as told 
in the preceding chapter. Colonel Richard B, 
Mason acted as military and civil governor of 
the territory, his term extending from May 31, 
1847, to April 12, 1849 — a period of about two 
years. He made his headquarters at Monte- 
rey, the ancient capital. The war in Mexico, 
which had begun in 1846, by Taylor's invasion 
over the border from Texas, continued 
through 1847, with Scott's march from Vera 
Cruz across to the City of Mexico, which he 
took and occupied on the 14th of September 
of that year. This ended the conflict, the re- 
public of Mexico acknowledging its hopeless 
defeat. A treaty of peace was entered into at 
Guadalupe-Hidalgo, a little town near the 
Mexican capital, on February 2, 1848, which 
finally went into effect May 30th of that year. 
In this treaty all of Alta California, New Mex- 
ico and Texas were ceded to the United 
States, for the sum of $15,000,000, to be paid 
in annual installments of $3,000,000 each. By 
the payment of this money the United States 

248 Hiitorjt «/ Lot Amgeies. 

undertook to palliate, in some degree, its of- 
fensc in waging war of aggression. The sum 
paid was, of course, quite inadequate to the 
value of the territory even as computed at that 

'ihc boundaries of Alta California had nev- 
er been accurately defined, either as to the 
cast, where it touched the other Mexican ter- 
ritory, called New Mexico, or to the north and 
northeast, where it touched the domain of the 
American Union. It included, however, the 
whole of the present state of California, Ne- 
vada and Utah, the territory of Arizona, and 
fragments of Colorado and Wyoming. Its 
status, until such time as congress should or- 
ganize it under some form of government, or 
until it should he accepted as a state, with a 
government of its own making, was that of 
a conquered province under military rule. 

'J'bc ailniission of California to statehood 
marks an important milestone in the history 
of the nation. It constituted the grand crisis 
— the turning point in the struggle between 
the slave puwcr and its opponents. Thus far, 
through a scries of compromises engineered 
chiefly by Henry Clay, the number of slave 
slates taken into the Union exactly equaled 
the number of free states. They had come in 
as pairs, one from the north and one from the 
south, and thus an equilibrium was maintained, 
in tlic senate, at least. The controversy was 
growing more bitter with each new phase, and 
like the ghost of Banquo, to which it was con- 

California Enters (he Union. 249 

stantly compared, it would not "down." To ad- 
mit California as a free state, with no territory 
at hand out of which to construct a slave state 
meant a serious disturbance of the existing ar- 
rangement. Every move in connection with 
the territorial government was, therefore, 
closely watched by both factions at Washing- 
ton, for as the territory was bent so was the 
state likely to be inclined. 

When congress met in December, 1848, 
President Polk called attention, in his annual 
message, to the fact that no form of govern- 
ment had yet been provided for California, 
which was particularly unfortunate in view of 
the rapid increase of population following the 
discovery of gold. The question had come up 
in the previous session, soon after the ratifica- 
tion of the treaty of Gaudalupe Hidalgo, and 
the acquisition of the territory. It had arisen 
through a resolution introduced into the house 
by David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, and known 
in American history as the "Wilmot Proviso," 
It was an effort to attach to the bill appro- 
priating the first installment of the $15,000,000 
purchase money, a provision that none of the 
territory thus obtained should be open to slave 
holding. A fierce struggle had been precipi- 
tated. The provision passed the house and 
failed in the senate, but the expression of public 
sentiment called out by the controversy 
showed the slave-holding element in congress 
that California, if admitted, would be a free 
state. The south, therefore, resisted the effort 

250 History of Los Angeles. 

to give it a territorial government, hoping to 
postpone the day of its entrance to the Union. 

President Polk's recommendation of state- 
hood immediately reopened the old quarrel, 
and it continued with great bitterness through 
the session. As March 4th drew near, marking 
the end of the administration, the factions be- 
came positively hysterical. Regret was fre- 
quently expressed that California had ever 
been obtained from Mexico, and the suggestion 
was made in genuine earnest that it be given 
back. The finding of gold, which made a terri- 
torial government necessary, was charac- 
terized as a misfortune. Secession was threat- 
ened by ilie south, and was received with con- 
temptuous taunts by the north. But in the end 
nothing was done for Calffornia, and the mili- 
tary rule continuca. 

Mason proved to be an excellent governor 
for the territory, through these troublous and 
difficult times. He was firm, just, kindly and 
discreet. Although possessed of a keen sense 
of order, he managed to endure the confusion 
and anarchy with philosophic calmness, for the 
space of two years. But when the gold excite- 
ment was thrown in, as a wild and fearful cli- 
max to it all, he begged to be recalled. There 
were, of course, no general laws, no state gov- 
ernment, and no local institutions save those of 
the Spanish- Mexican regime. Hostilities hav- 
ing ceased, military rule in the towns was not 
practical. It was neither best for the people, 
nor likely to insure their good will. The 

California Enters the Union. 2S1 

alcaldes and ayuntamientos were therefore 
ordered to continue the administration of jus- 
tice and of local affairs under the old Span- 
ish law. As the Americans began to ar- 
rive in larger numbers, these offices were fre- 
quently filled from their ranks, and the new- 
comers found great difficulty in conducting 
affairs under the Mexican laws. Up to this 
time there had been no such thing in Califor- 
nia as a trial by jury. There was no warrant 
for the institution under Spanish or Mexican 
law; but as soon as the Americans took pos- 
session, they demanded that this constitutional 
right be recognized, and it was recognized in 
most cases. On the other hand, when a certain 
priest, who was sued for breach of contract, 
took refuge behind the Spanish law, which 
gave him special privilege as an ecclesiastic. 
Governor Mason refused to admit his claim. 
The governor's theory of the situation seems to 
have been that while the Spanish laws were to 
hold in the main, until the national government 
should act, the people could not be deprived 
of inherent rights they enjoyed under the con- 
stitution of the United States. Although him- 
self a military man, he would not allow inter- 
ference by the soldiers with the local govern- 
ments. On one occasion Colonel Stevenson, 
who was in command at Los Angeles, under- 
took to forbid the carrying out of a decision of 
the alcalde; but Mason ordered him to with- 
draw from his position, and allow the city au- 
thorities to arrange their own affairs. 

252 History of Los AngmUs. 

In July, 1848, Pio Pico returned to Califor- 
nia. Although the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidal- 
go had been ratified two months baore, no 
news of the fact had yet reached the coast, ex- 
cept that it was known the document was un- 
der consideration. Pico came to Los Angeles, 
and Stevenson immediately wrote to Mason 
that the former governor was still claiming au- 
thority, and asked what was to be done. Pico 
also wrote to Mason, saying that "as the Mex- 
ican governor of the territory," he would be 
glad to co-operate with Mason in establishing 
harmonious relations between the Californiaos 
and the Americans. It is quite probable that 
his use of the expression "as Mexican gover- 
nor" was merely an awkward way of describ- 
ing his former status. It is certain that he had 
neither expectation nor desire to make trouble. 
There were frequent rumors at this time of 
contemplated rebellions, and the language of 
the ex-governor was unfortunate. Stevenson 
was ordered to arrest and imprison Pico, but 
within a few days came news of the final ac- 
ceptance by both countries of the treaty, and 
on his making suitable explanations and apolo- 
gies, Don Pio was set free. 

In January of 1848 an event took place in 
California which ranks in our national history 
in the same class of importance with the sign- 
ing of the Declaration of Independence and the 
firing on Fort Sumter — and that was the dis- 
covery of gold at Coloma. on the American riv- 
er, near Sacramento. The stream of wealth that 





California Enters the Union. 253 

presently began to pour out of the state en- 
riched and built up the north, whose free en- 
terprises naturally absorbed most of it, until 
that section was ready, ten years later, to en- 
ter upon a long and frightfully expensive war 
for the maintenance of the Union, and exterm- 
ination of slavery. This is a great economic 
fact that serves as a cornerstone to the unique 
fame of California. 

The presence of gold in California had been 
known for half a century, and the metal had 
been obtained in commercial quantities in the 
southern part of the state. In 1842 a Califor- 
nian named Lopez found some fragments of 
the precious metal, when digging foi wild on- 
ions in the San Francisquito canyon, about 
thirty-five miles northwest of Los Angeles. A 
small furore of placer mining then broke out in 
Los Angeles, and numbers of claims were 
staked out ; Don Abel Stearns estimated that 
$6000 to $8000 was secured annually for four 
years. After that the work was intermittent, 
and finally was abandoned almost entirely. 

The real discovery of gold in California was 
accomplished by James W. Marshall, a carpen- 
ter in the employ of John A. Sutter. The latter 
was a Swiss, who had acquired considerable 
land in the Sacramento valley, and owned a 
store and several mills in that region. He was 
constructing a saw mill on the American river, 
and Marshall, who was something of a mill- 
wright, was in charge of the work. In the tail- 
race of this mill, Marshall found some small 

258 History of Los AngtUs* 

ing or other purposes. The city owns nothing 
until it has attained a size that makes the pur- 
chase of land for municipal use a necessity; 
and then as a rule it buys sparingly, for al- 
though the price of land may be low, the city's 
finances will not admit of heavy investment. 
Thus it happens that many cities of the east 
ern states have been compelled to use a large 
element of the revenue raised by taxation in 
the purchase of land for school, park and other 
municipal purposes, and are, nevertheless, al- 
ways cramped for room. There are some in- 
stances, particularly among cities in the mid- 
dle west, where far-sighted officials have urged 
the municipality, early in its career, into the 
acquirement of large tracts of land, of which 
later generations have reaped the benefit. A 
notable example of this type is Chicago, which 
not only owns a chain of parks running 
through the city, but also has large tracts of 
so-called "school land." some of which is in the 
very heart of the business district, and is occu- 
pied by valuable buildings on a 99-year lease- 
hold. If that city's affairs were always admin- 
istered on an honest and equitable basis, if its 
government were made a matter of plain busi- 
ness, after the English method, instead of a po- 
litical amusement, after the American, Chicago 
would be the city that enjoys the lowest taxes 
and the hicrhest municipal privileges of anv in 
the Union. 

But to return to Los Angeles and its mag- 
nificent patrimony of broad acres. After the 

Tkt City Takes Shape. 259 

original settlers had received all that their 
contracts called for — given them not by the 
pueblo, but by the governor — then the city 
began giving away building sites to all that 
asked them for actual use, and small tracts, 
rarely exceeding ten acres, to those that wished 
to carry on agriculture. No written title 
passed, nor was there any definite marking of 
limits. Probably no record was kept of these 
transactions — certainly none has descended to 
us. A man's title to his property lay in his oc- 
cupancy of it, either by actual residence or by 
tilling. If he moved off, or ceased to cultivate 
it, any one could take possession by "denuncia- 
tion," This prevented the holding of land for 
mere speculative purposes, and tended to con- 
centrate the city in a limited area. The out- 
lying districts were left intact In the hands of 
the city. The time came presently when the 
necessity for definite boundaries and written 
titles to ownership dawned on the people of 
Los Angeles, and, as has been related earlier 
in this work, the ayuntamiento required all 
owners to present their claims for ratification 
by that body. This was the beginning of mod- 
ern land titles in Los Angeles, for the titles 
granted to the original settlers by the governor 
had all been lost by this time, and the owner- 
ship of the ill-defined building lots and agri- 
cultural fields had passed into other hands, 
either by inheritance or through the process of 
denunciation. The only case in which a writ- 
ten title had been given by the ayuntamiento 

360 Htslory of Lot Angelet- 

was that of J. A. Carrillo, io 1821, who peti- 
tioned for "a parcel of land containing forty 
varas" (iii feet) front and sixty (166 feet) 
deep, bounded with Dona Encamacion Urqui- 
dez, Don Francisco Sepulveda, and near the 
new church which is now in course of erec- 
tion." The tract referred to is the one where 
the Pico house (National hotel) now stands, 
near the plaza. Note the vague character of 
the description. No consideration is men- 
tioned in the deed. The regular practice of 
granting titles by the ayuntamiento did not be- 
gin until more than ten years later, and by that 
time property began to have some money val- 
ue — but not much. For ordinary building lots 
— such as those along Main street or Aliso, 
the price charged by the ayuntamiento was 
"dos reales per front vara." A real was 12J4 
cents and a vara 33 1-3 inches, which would 
make the value of the property about 8 cents a 
front foot. A building site usually had about 
100 feet of frontage, and it would not be diffi- 
cult to locate many pieces that sold in the 
'40S for $8, and are now worth more than $roo,- 

The phraseology used in defining the city 
in the original regulation was a little vague, as 
to whether it was to be four leagues square or 
four square leagues. The former meant 
twelve by twelve miles, or 144 square miles, 
the latter six by six, or thirty-six square miles. 
Up to the time of the American occupation, no 
one had raised the question of the exact boun- 

The City Takes Shape. 261 

dary, but it came up now at the same time with 
the general question of land titles all over the 
territory. The Americans were not satisfied 
with the hap-hazard forms of title customary 
among the easy-going Californians. They fore- 
saw the time when land would have a definite 
and an increasing value. No survey of the 
state had ever been made by the Spanish or 
Mexican authorities, although all grants of 
land, outside the pueblos, were supposed ta 
emanate from the governor. When a Califor- 
nian had obtained his grant of land he went 
to the alcalde nearest the tract, who, on the 
payment of a small fee, provided a man who 
called himself a surveyor, but whose only tools 
were a rope 50 varas long (140 feet) and a 
couple of pins which could be stuck in the 
ground without dismounting from horseback. 
The rope sagged and stretched, and was given 
direction merely by a careless sighting. The 
deed required that landmarks should be set up, 
but that formality was often waived. When 
the measurement was completed, the alcalde 
signed the deed, and the title was then regard- 
ed as complete. 

In 1851 an act passed the congress of the 
United States, providing for a board of three 
commissioners, with a secretary and a law 
agent, the latter skilled in Spanish, to pass on 
alt matters of title in the new acquisitions. The 
board began its sessions in San Francisco De- 
cember. iSsi. and continued for five years. It 
held one brief session in Los Angeles, in the 

262 History of Los Angeles. 

autumn of 1852. Of the 813 claims presented 
to this body, 591 were finally confirmed and 
203 rejected. The board did not complete the 
work of settling all land claims, but it settled 
a large number of them, and it gathered the 
material by which they could be finally settled 
in the district courts. 

It will be readily understood that the work 
of this board could not be carried on without 
arousing a considerable amount of resentment 
among the Californians, who found themselves 
dispossessed of property to which they be- 
lieved they had a perfectly valid claim. But 
the situation was one that called for a day of 
judgment some time, and the inevitable con- 
sequence of long-continued carelessness in 
business matters is that the innocent must suf- 
fer as well as the guilty. There had been no 
little fraud in the granting of land under the 
Mexican regime, and an incredible amount of 
inaccuracy. The verdict of history seems to 
be that the commissioners were honest men, 
who performed a very difficult task with 
shrewdness and painstaking care. More than 
that; it does not appear that they allowed 
themselves to be governed by too great a de- 
votion to technicality, but endeavored in each 
case to get at the real intention of the author- 
ity granting the land, and judge the issue on 
its merits in equity. This, however, is not the 
estimate of the commission that was formed by 
most of the Californians. They and their de- 
scendants, even to this day, will maintain that 

The City Takes Shape. 263 

the whole proceeding was a deliberate plot to 
rob them of their lands, to take back into the 
public domain hundreds of thousands of acres 
that were owned by individual Californians, 
many of whom were stripped of their holdings 
by the commission. 

The pueblo of Los Angeles followed the ex- 
ample of many of the ranch owners, and pro- 
ceeded to make its claims as wide as possible 
in the hope of getting the more in the final set- 
tlement. Its demand was put in with the com- 
mission for four leagues square, or 144 square 
miles. The case of Los Angeles, like many 
others, did not receive final settlement before 
the board, but when it was at last passed upon 
by the courts the area was fixed at four square 
leagues or thirty-six square miles. 

At the time of the American occupation, 
and even down to 1853, more than 80 per cent 
of all this great expanse belonged to the city 
itself. Private ownership covered merely the 
area in the immediate vicinity of the plaza, and 
along the foothills In a narrow strip from 
Buena Vista street bridge to First street, and 
east as far as the river. Today all that re- 
mains in the possession of the city is a few 
hundred acres along the river, known as Ely- 
sian park, and some arroyo and river wash 
land — ^tracts thdt were considered of so little 
value that they were somehow "left over." 
Even the pieces that the city has devoted to 
parks, like Westlake and Eastlake and others, 
were either purchased by the city or were ben- 

264 History of Los Angeles, 

efactions — one of the latter being the enor- 
mous tract of Griffith park, which lies a little 
way beyond the city's limits to the west. The 
land in use for school purposes and for public 
buildings has, with one or two small excep- 
tions, been acquired by purchase. All the 
great expanse, where lie now ten thousand 
homes, and many blocks of business buildings 
was once city property, and was sold for tri- 
fling amounts, and much of it actually given 
away in large tracts — and this outrage was 
committed not during the administration of the 
careless Californians, but after the occupation 
by thrifty Americans. 

It is an almost heart-breaking thought — 
I lie "what-might-have-been." Great foresight 
was not required, for the land did not need to 
he purchased. It was already owned by the 
city. All that was needed was a small frac- 
tion of intelligence in the sale of it — the with- 
holding of pieces here and there, of every oth- 
er lot in favorable tracts, and of occasional ten- 
acre divisions for parks. Had this policy been 
pursued, Los Angeles might be today the rich- 
est municipality of its size in the Union. That 
such folly could have been committed as to 
save practically nothing out of the whole area 
is almost incredible, but it is true. 

The first survey of the city, and the making 
of a plan of its streets, was accomplished by 
Lieutenant E. O. C. Ord (afterward, during 
tlie Civil War, raised to the rank of a major- 
c^eneral) in August of 1849. I^^fore the Amer- 

Th* City Takes Shape. 265 

icans came to Los Angeles the need for a sur- 
vey to lay out streets for future growth was 
frequently discussed, and the crookedness and 
irregularity of the city, as far as it had extend- 
ed, was spoken of with regret. Reforms were 
attempted at various times, and people were 
urged to move back from the plaza, and to 
cease stopping up the embryo streets. But 
these good efforts came to naught. There 
were no competent surveyors in the territory, 
and the citizen who had once gained possession 
of a prominent place for his house was loth to 
move back and surrender it to public use. 

The ayuntamiento of 1849, which contained 
several Americans, proposed to Governor Ma- 
son that he should send down an army engi- 
neer to survey the pueblo, in order that tne 
titles might be perfected and descriptions 
made clear before the land commission should 
begin its work, for by that time the plan for a 
land commission had been bruited about. Ord 
was offered $3000 in cash, or his choice of 
building sites to the number of ten, and about 
160 acres of land in the farming districts of 
the city. He took the cash. The land would 
now probably be worth several millions of dol- 
lars. The area covered in his "Plan de la Ciu- 
dad de Los Angeles" is now bounded by Pico 
street on the south, by Pearl street and the 
hills on the west, by the river on the east, and 
by the San Fernando street depot on the north. 
He seems to have assumed without question 
that the natural growth of the city would be in 

266 History of Los AngeUs. 

a southwesterly direction, as the hills shut it 
off to the west and north, and the river and 
low lands interfered to the east. Doubtless the 
older residents explained to him how, prior to 
1825, the river had flowed through Alameda 

The two most ancient streets of the city 
that are now in existence are Aliso and Spring. 
The former was the ending of the road from 
San Gabriel, and originally led out into the 
Plaza, but was stopped at Los Angeles street 
by the enterprising bouse builders early in the 
century. Spring street was the road into the 
Cahuenga and to the north, although it did not 
follow the route of the present Spring street 
beyond First. At the junction by the Nadeau 
it started across lots, passing Fourth and Hill, 
and skirting the foothills until it reached mod- 
ern Ninth street, where it turned to the west, 
and then to the north to Cahuenga pass. The 
line of the old road is sketched upon Ord's map. 
The part which we now call North Spring was 
originally called Charity street, because, being 
far out of town, it was occupied by poor peo- 
ple, dependent upon others for support. Ord 
transferred this name to Grand avenue, and 
that street continued with this title until 1886, 
when the City Council listened to the plaint 
of many people who were tired of the incessant 
joke about their "living on charity," and the 
name was finally banished from the citVa 
streets. ^ 

Broadway was named Fort street, after the 

Tk4 City Takes Shupe. 267 

fort built the year before Ord's survey, which 
looked down the street from the hill to the 
north. The change of name was made in 1889. 
Figueroa street appears as the Street of the 
Grasshoppers. Buena Vista is Eternity street, 
because of the cemetery. Castelar is the Street 
of the Bull, for that is where the bullfights 
were formerly held. What we call Yale was 
then the Street of the Hornets, 

The names are given on the Ord plan both 
in Spanish and English, and the name Spring 
is put into Spanish as Primavera, showing that 
it was for the season, and not for any spring of 
water. Temple street was not cut through at 
this time, and, indeed, there was no public 
thoroughfare running west out of Main and 
Spring, all the way from the Plaza to Franklin 

Note to Chafteb XXV— The exact area of the city 
as delermined by the appeal from the settlement of the 
ccmimission was 17,172.37 acres. The S{nmsh league 
on which the city's claim was based was a variable 
quantity (as was also the vara) ranging with the lo- 
cality from 2.634 miles to 4.214 miles. The square league 
was generally figured at 4.428.4 acres. The author 
does not attempt to go into the complications of these 
varying forms of measurement, and -the figures given 
in the text are merely approximations. 



NEW city was now coming into ex- 
istence in Los Angeles — an Ameri- 
can growth grafted upon a Spanish 
stock. Had it been located in an ac- 
cessible part of the nation, the change 
from the old order to the new would have been 
rapid, for the region presented then^ as it does 
now, many natural advantages to attract a de- 
sirable population. The climate was just as 
favorable in 1850 as it is today, and the soil 
just as productive; but between Los Angeles 
and the eastern states was a great gulf of dis- 
tance and danp^er, that only the most intrepid 
would venture to cross. The discovery of 
gold, which brought 80,000 people to the north- 
ern part of the state in one year, affected the 
southern part only in a reflex way. In the dec- 
ade from 1850 to t86o, several thousand of the 
Arcronants drifted down from San Francisco, 
some of them with a little capital acquired in 
the digjsfings, but more of them penniless; and 
some of both kinds located permanently in Los 
Angeles. Then there were also those who left 
the eastern states in the expectation of mining 
for gold, but were dissuaded by the bitter stor- 
ies of failure that came to their ears, and they 
turned their course to the south, where they 
were told men gfrew rich quickly in raising 

TJu Sgginning of Things. ^fB 

But the total number of all that made their 
way into this far-off corner of the new terri- 
tory was not large, and of those who came 
many returned soon to the east, for they found 
their hopes of sudden wealth were idle. On a 
superficial view, the region had but little to 
offer the new-comer. A small amount of com- 
merce had sprung up between Los Angeles and 
Arizona, and later there was trade with the 
mining camps of Nevada and Utah, and across 
the mountains to the San Joaquin valley, and 
over the desert to Inyo county. The old pue- 
blo was a station on the route from Texas and 
the southern states into California, and not a 
few of the gold-seekers came through that way. 
Except for these small sources of revenue, 
whatever means the people of Los Angeles en- 
joyed came out of the territory that immedi- 
ately surrounded them. The extraordinary 
producing capacity of the soil under the favor- 
ing semi-tropic climate had not yet been dis- 
covered. It was known to the padres and a 
few others, but rather as a theory than as a 
practical fact. The first Americans found that 
the Californians grew almost nothing, and they 
assumed that the reason must lie in the natural 
deficiency of the country. It was fit for noth- 
ing but the raising of stock, they thought — 
for that was the only use to which the Califor- 
nians had put it. Now the raising of stock 
would not employ great numbers of people, nor 
would it support a considerable population. 
Hence during the next thirty years of its exist- 

270 History of Lot Anteits. 

ence, from 1850 to 1880, the growth of Los An- 
geles was slow. This meant that it remained, 
during most of that period, a Spanish-Ameri- 
can rather than an American city. 

The first American census, taken in 1850, 
showed the population of the city to be 1610, 
and of the county 3530. The number was, no 
doubt, abnormally small, owing to the prev- 
alence of the gold excitement, which drew 
hundreds of men away to the mines. But for 
that, the census would probably have shown 
over 3000 in the city. The next enumeration 
by the government, that of i860, showed 4399 
in the city and 11, 333 in the county. The gain 
was made for the most part in the4hst years 
of the decade, when the mining excitement had 
died down, and the gold-seekers came south in 
search of homes. In the next decade, from 
i860 to 1870. there was very little increase. The 
census of 1870 gave the city a population of 
5614, and the county 15,309. This small 
growth was not due to the Civil War, which 
added rather than subtracted from the popu- 
lation. There was but little enlistment fronf 
Los Angeles on either side in the great con- 
flict, so the loss was not great ; and on the oth- 
er hand, at the close of the war, many ex-Con- 
federates whose homes had been destroyed 
made their way to the Pacific coast, that they 
might begin life anew in happier surroundings. 
The failure to advance was due to the apparent 
inability of the country to support a larger 
population. By this time the Central and Un- 

The Stginning of Things. 271 

ion Pacific rail connection with the east had 
been established, but the line was not as yet 
extended to the southern portion of the state. 
A regular system of steamers plied between 
Los Angeles and San Francisco, giving the 
southern city a part of the advantage of the 
new opening to the east. Still it did not grow. 
Twenty years after the American occupation 
it was in spirit and customs and even in popu- 
lation largely a Mexican town. It is now a 
thoroughly American city, with a few faint 
traces of Spanish origin. The change began in 
the latter '70s, and was completed within ten 

In the first period of transition, from 1848 
to 1855, many of the institutions that make up 
the foundation of our American life came into 
being in Los Angeles — unknown before that 
time. Of trial by jury, and the equality of all 
before the law, we have already spoken, as 
being decreed by the authorities of the state. 
Schools, newspapers, churches and municipal 
improvements were purely local matters, for 
the people of Los Angeles to settle for them- 
selves. The newcomers attacked them with 
the traditional energy of Americans; but 
whether it was due to certain qualities of the 
climate that it pleases people to term "enervat- 
ing," or to the doubtful example set them by 
their predecessors, it must be admitted that 
the good beginning was but languidly fol- 

274 History of Los Angelos. 

commissioners of public schools were selected 
by the council, one of whom, the chairman, 
was made ex-ofiicio saperintendent of schools. 
In 1S55 there were 753 children of school age 
ill the city, but the average daily attendance 
was only fifty-two. Most of the children of 
American parentage were sent, but the na- 
tive Cali£ornians either disapproved of the 
school because it was an American institution, 
01 they were utterly indifferent to the advant- 
ages of education. 

Stephen C. Foster who was elected mayor 
in 1854, was a graduate of Yale college, and 
took a lively interest in the education of the 
youth. He urged tliat permanent school build- 
ings be erected, and that a regular system, 
similar to that used in Eastern cities, be 
adopted. The council met this suggestion by 
making him superintendent of schools, as well 
as mayor, and with his administration the 
modem educational system of Los Angeles 
had its beginning. The first schoolhouse was 
erected in 1855, on the corner of Spring and 
Second, where the Bryson block now stands. 
It cost about $6000. The second was on Bath 
street, a thoroughfare which was afterwards 
absorbed by the opening of Main street north 
from the plaza. 

When the Americans took possession of 
Monterey in 1846 they found a font of type 
which had been used occasionally by the Cali- 
fornia authorities to print official documents. 

The Beginning of Tkings. 275 

Although one letter was lacking in the alpha- 
bet of the Spaniard the Americans, nothing 
daunted, seized, upon the type and began the 
publication of a newspaper which they called 
"The Californian." It was maintained 
throughout the earlier period of the occupa- 
tion. The missing letter, W, was produced 
by putting two V's together. 

The first newspaper in Los Angeles was 
called "La Estrella," "The Star," the first 
number of which, printed in both Spanish and 
English, appeared May 17, 1851. In the pre- 
ceding October Theodore Foster had applied 
to the city council tor a piece of ground suit- 
able for a newspaper office, and had suggested 
a location near the city jail, on Main street. 
He seems to have had a presentiment that a 
large amount of news was likely to originate 
in that vicinity. The matter of a donation 
of a piece of land for such a purpose aroused 
a good deal of debate. Few of the Califor- 
nlans had ever seen a newspaper, and the de- 
scription supplied by their American neigh- 
bors who had enjoyed some experience with 
the institution in Eastern states was not en- 
tirely reassuring. Finally the donation was 
agreed to, but the words "for this once only" 
were attached to the resolution, and the site 
selected by Mr. Foster was denied him. He 
was given instead a piece no feet square 
fronting the zanja on Los Angeles street, be- 
tween Commercial and Arcadia, on the spot 

TStf Begitmutg of Tkimga. W7 

moderate his utterances in spite of frequent 
warnings from the authorities, he was at last 
ordered to cease editorial connection with the 
paper. In 1868 he returned to the work and 
continued in charge, with one or two inter- 
missions, until 1873. In that year the "Star" 
passed into the hands of Major Ben C. Tru- 
man, who had been secretary to President 
Johnson, and who is now living in Los An- 
geles. Hamilton was a man of scientific 
tastes and made considerable study of the bot- 
any of the country. At his solicitation Hugo 
Reid, who had lived among the Californian 
Indians, contributed a series of articles to the 
"Star" on the latter's habits and customs, con- 
taining information of considerable value. 
The "Star" continued under Truman's man- 
agement until 1877, becoming a daily in 1873. 
It finally came into the hands of the Rev. A. 
M. Campbell, who was succeeded by the 
sheriff, and in 1879 the paper passed out of 

"El Clamor Publico" ceased publication in 
1859. No other Spanish paper was attempted 
until 1872. 

In 1854 the "Southern Californian" ap- 
peared. Don Andres Pico was one of the 
owners, and its demise, which took place be- 
fore it was two years old, is said to have left 
him $10,000 poorer in money, whatever gain 
he may have made in other directions. The 
plant was taken by J. J. Warner to be used in 

280 History of Los AngtUs. 

long era of violence and contempt for law had 
its culmination in 1871, in the brutal slaughter 
of nineteen Chinamen and the looting of China- 
town by a mob of sc» men. The number of 
l^chings during this period (not including the 
Chinamen) is estimated at thirty-five, which 
is more than four times the number credited to 
the famous vigilance committees of San Fran- 
cisco. In addition to the executions that were 
done in the name of order, if not of law, there 
were legal hangings about twice a year. As to 
the number of killings, it is impossible to make 
an estimate, as no record was kept. There is 
no complete file of the earliest volumes of the 
newspapers, alt having been destroyed in a 
fire in 1880, but such copies as are still in ex- 
istence contain here and there brief items, two 
or three lines in length, that show by the very 
absence of comment what the state of things 
was. A murder which in these days would be 
given half a page of newspaper space, with 
pictures of the victim and all his family, and 
a lurid diagram of the spot and its surround- 
ings, was dismissed with a few short sen- 
tences, accompanied by no comment. The Los 
Angeles News of March 2, 1866, contains these 
three items, for example: 

"The verdict of the coroner's jury on the 
body of Seferino Ochoa returned that he came 
to his death by the discharge of a gun loaded 
with powder and balls." 

"A party of Salt Lake and Montana team- 
sters had a lively row in the Monte on Mon- 





Lot Ang«U$ at its Wont. 281 

day night; several shots were fired, from the 
effects of which one man died." 

"A shooting affray occurred recently be- 
tween Mr. T. Baldwin and Mr. Adam Linn. 
Mr. Baldwin was shot through the heart, but 
unloaded his pistol before he expired, dying 
without speaking. Mr. Linn was uninjured. ' 

The Southern Californian of March 7, 1855, 
remarks : 

"Last Sunday night was a brisk night for 
killing. Four men were shot and killed and 
several wounded in shooting affrays." 

This lawlessness had its beginning in the 
years that California was without a regular 
government — the interregnum between Mexi- 
can and American authority. The semi-mili- 
tary government that prevailed through part 
of this time served to hold things in check, 
but it was withdrawn before the new authority 
was firmly in its seat. The changed order 
brought inevitable confusion in the effort to 
accommodate Spanish law to American cus- 
toms and Spanish customs to American law, 
and this confusion was suddenly confounded 
by the arrival of a hundred thousand new- 
comers in the state — the gold hunters. In 
such a vast number, coming for such a pur- 
pose, it was to be expected that representatives 
of the criminal and desperate classes should 
be included. When the vigilance committees 
of San Francisco and the northern mining 
camps began to drive these bad characters out. 

282 HUlory of Lot AngtU*. 

many of them drifted south to Los Angeles, 
and the tatter city soon took on the character 
of a frontier town of the toughest type. 

The situation was more compUcated in Los 
Angeles than in most other portions of the 
state, because of the presence in that city of 
many hundred native Californians of the low- 
est class. These were idle, shiftless and ad- 
dicted to drink, but up to the time of the Amer- 
ican occupation they had not shown contempt 
for the law, nor were they given to crimes of 
violence. The change of government seemed 
to bring a radical change in the character of 
many of these men. It may have been that 
they were merely imitative, and that they 
were undertaking to do as they saw the Amer- 
ican frontier outlaws doing; or it may have 
been that having lost their country and — many 
of them — their vague claims to land, they be- 
came desperate, and defied all authority; at 
all events, a large percentage of the killings re- 
corded for this period, particularly the murders 
done for money, are to be charged to the na- 
tive Californians, and many of the fiercest and 
most reckless highwaymen were of this class. 

Another element in the population that 
' rendered the maintaining of order difficult was 
the Indian. About two thousand natives who 
had either been brought up at the missions or 
had sometime been under their influence, so 
that they were not wholly wild, were living in 
and around Los Angeles. During the week 
they worked on the ranches and vineyards ^n^ 

Los AngeUs at its Wont. 283 

on Saturday, having secured their pay, much 
of it in brandy, they repaired to the city to in- 
dulge in a frantic carouse. Their favorite ren- 
dezvous was a small street between Arcadia 
and the plaza, where Los Angeles street now 
is. "Nigger alley" — as it was called — was sur- 
rounded by low drinking places, and was the 
home of crime and disorder. The Indians 
fought incessantly among themselves, and 
without much interference on the part of the 
authorities ; but they seldom raised their 
hands against the whites, or if they did they 
were shot down without mercy. When they 
were all drunk, which happened usually within 
twelve hours after their discharge from the 
ranches, they were gathered into a corral back 
of the present location of the Downey block. 
On Monday morning they were sold off, hke 
so many slaves, the employer agreeing to pay 
the fine in return for the next period of ser- 
vice. The Indian received only a dollar or 
two for his week's work, part of that in brandy. 
This condition of affairs lasted until the In- 
dians were all dead, and they went out rapidly 
under such a hideous system. 

The city was run on the so-called "wide- 
open" plan, no attempt being made to control 
the liquor traffic, and gambling accepted as a 
matter of course. A law-abiding, God-fearing 
element existed, and at times exerted itself ag- 
gressively, but the supply of desperate cliarac- 
ters seemed to be inexhaustible; when one lot 
was run out of the place, a new detachment ap- 


284 History of Los Angglos. 

peared, and permanent reform was deemed 
hopeless. The police force of the city was in 
charge of an officer known as the city mar- 
shal, who had several regular deputies that 
were entitled to fees, but in times of special 
difficulty he called on the citizens generally 
to aid him. When the Star printing establish- 
ment came into existence, its first job of print- 
ing was to prepare for the use of the marshal 
one hundred white ribbon badges, bearing in 
Spanish and English the legend "City Police: 
Organized by the Council of Los Angeles, July 
12, 1851," which were to be used on a law and 
order Committee of One Hundred. Two of the 
marshals of this period were killed in office, 
and those who ventured to do their duty had 
plenty of interesting experiences. Companies 
of armed vigilantes were formed from time to 
time, generally under the name of "Rangers." 
The authorities shut their eyes to the lynch- 
ings, few of which were unjustifiable. On one 
occasion the mayor, Stephen C. Foster, re- 
signed to head a lynching party. This was 
the extreme case of a murderer, whose guilt 
was without question and who was likely to 
be freed by a technicality by the supreme 

The county was represented in the work of 
maintaining order by its sheriflf; and three of 
these officers were killed during this period. 
The circumstances connected with the slaying 
of Sheriff Barton show what a deplorable con- 
dition of affairs existed at the time, although 

Los Angeles al ils Worst. 285 

his death led to a temporary improvement. A 
number of the worst characters in the city had 
been driven out by a vigilance committee, but 
they remained in the neighborhood, robbing 
travelers and committing murder if they met 
with resistance. In January, 1857, Sheriff 
Barton gathered a posse of five men, and went 
to the Sepulveda ranch in search of these ban- 
dits. The gang proved to be much larger 
than he had supposed, most of them native 
Californians, and all well armed and mounted. 
There was a fight, in which the sheriff and 
three of the posse were killed, the other two 
escaping back to the city. This brought mat- 
ters to a crisis, and the law and order people 
of Los Angeles rose in a body to make a thor- 
ough job of clearing the country of the bad 
element. They began by hunting through the 
city for all suspicious characters, and about 
fifty were arrested and thrown into jail. The 
country was then scoured in search of the 
gang that had killed Barton ; General Andres 
Pico led the posse. The robbers scattered, and 
some of them took to the mountains, but they 
were nearly all captured. Over fifty were 
lodged in jail, and eleven were hung, some by 
the committee and others through due procesii 
of law. This cleared the atmosphere for a 

The most terrible page in this dark chap- 
ter of the city's history is that on which is re- 
corded the massacre of the Chinamen. The 
Los Angeles of today is so far removed from 

286 History of Los AngtUs. 

anything like mob sentiment, its population, 
90 per cent of which comes from the older 
eastern states, is so thoroughly conservative 
and law-abiding, that it is hard to understand 
how, only thirty years ago, such a horrible 
outrage came to be committed in the city. 
As a mere exhibition of mob rule, however, it 
was no worse than has been seen since that 
period in various eastern cities, notably Cin- 
cinnati, Pittsburg, Kansas City and St. Louis. 
If the number of lives taken was greater than 
in any of these latter instances, that may be 
accounted for by the fact that in those days 
nearly everyone in Los Angeles was accus- 
tomed to go armed, and knew how to shoot to 
kill, and by the further fact that public senti- 
ment at the time placed a very low estimate 
on the value of the life of a Chinaman. This 
is not offered in extenuation of the crime, but 
merely to help explain something that seems 
at first sight difficult of comprehension. 

The affair took place on the 24th of Octo- 
ber, 1871, and succeeded the great Chicago 
fire as a topic of news most under discussion 
throughout the country. This was for many 
thousand eastern people their first introduc- 
tion to Los Angeles, and the incongruity of 
the name as the location for such an awful 
deed was frequently commented upon. The 
riot grew out of a war between rival Chinese 
societies— or "tongs" — that had been in prog- 
ress for several days, one faction shooting 
across "Nigger alley" at the other from time 

Los AngeUt at iU Worst. 287 

to time. A city policeman attempting to make 
an arrest met with resistance, and summoned 
to his aid a well-known citizen, named Robert 
Thompson. Some Chinamen concealed in a 
building on the corner of Arcadia street and 
"Nigger alley" shot through the door and mor- 
tally wounded Thompson. He was carried to 
an adjoining drug store, and died within an 

The fatal shot had been fired just at dusk. 
By night time a great crowd of angry men had 
gathered in the alley and surrounded the build- 
ing. Several of the Chinamen undertook to es- 
cape, but were shot down or captured and 
hung. The mob finally broke open the building, 
which the Chinamen had barricaded on the 
inside, and dragged eight Chinamen out into 
the street, where they were beaten and kicked 
and pulled about with ropes tied around their 
necks, and finally taken over to a corral on 
New High street back of the Downey block 
and hanged to a high cross-bar above its gate. 
This was about 9 o'clock in the evening. 

In the meantime a gang of thieves and 
toughs who had joined the mob for purposes 
of plunder made the most of the confusion to 
break open several stores belonging to China- 
men who could not be supposed to have had 
any part in the murder of Thompson. Some 
seized the goods and began to carry them off, 
while others wrecked the buildings and the 
store fixtures. All Chinamen that came into the 

288 HUtory of t-os AngwUs. 

hands of the mob were dragged out into "Kig- 
ger alley" and hung or shot to death. The 
crowd was beside itself with rage against the 
race, and spared neither youth nor old age. 
Two of the victims were very young boys, and 
one, an old physician, a man of good education, 
who begged for his life and offered over $2000 
in money to those who had captured him. The 
money was taken, but he was hanged with the 
rest. The amount of cash taken by the mob 
was estimated at $40,000. 

There were in all nineteen Chinamen put 
to death, some with great cruelty. The affair 
lasted only about an hour. News of what was 
going on had by this time spread over the 
town, and a party of brave and law-abiding 
citizens, accompanied by the sheriff, went 
down into Chinatown and compelled the mob 
to desist. A few arrests were made, and when 
the grand jury met, indictments were found 
against 150 persons for participation in the 
massacre. Only six of these were convicted 
in the trial that followed, and they, after a 
short imprisonment, were given their freedom 
on a technicality. The jury severely censured 
the officers of the city and county for neglect- 
ing their duty. From the evidence taken af- 
terward it was established that only one of the 
nineteen Chinamen killed was concerned in 
the original conflict between the "tongs." The 
guilty parties had all made their escape be- 
fore the mob came on the scene. 




■he Story of Los Angeles from 1850 
to i88o is largely one of slow indus- 
trial development, and a narration of 
that order is best handled in epochs. 
A division into decades may be an ar- 
bitrary one, but it is convenient and will be 
employed through the next three chapters of 
this work. 

Many of the principal events of the period 
from 1850 to i860 have already been narrated, 
for the epoch is one of considerable local im- 
portance in marking the commencement of the 
new order of things. There were also sundry 
happenings of minor note, that have to be re- 
corded as part of the city's history, although 
their number and variety may make this narra- 
tive somewhat disjointed in places. 

The year 1850 saw the beginning of the 
Protestant church in Los Angeles. The Rev. 
J. W. Brier, a Methodist minister, who was 
passing through the city on his way to the 
northern part of the state, held the first Prot- 
estant services that ever took place in Los An- 
geles, on a Sunday in June, 1850. It was in a 
private residence located where the Bullard 
block now stands, and where for many years 
afterward the county court house stood. In 

200 HUlory of Los Angvits. 

1853 the Rev. Adam Bland was sent to Los An- 
geles by the California conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church to organize a church. 
He made use of an adobe building on Main 
street near the Baker block. There he preached 
for two years, and his wife taught a girls' 
school in the same building. Others succeeded 
him, but in 185S the field was abandoned for 
eight years. 

The next Protestant sect to come to Los 
Angeles was that of the Presbyterians. In No- 
vember, 1854, Rev. James Woods of that faith, 
held services in a little carpenter shop near the 
corner of Main street and the plaza. A year 
later a regular church was organized with Mr. 
Woods as pastor, and services were held in 
the first court house, which stood where the 
People's store now is, on Spring and Franklin 
— a building that was for many years after 
i860 used as the city jail. In 1856 the moral 
development of Los Angeles was abandoned 
by the Presbyterians as hopeless, and was not 
taken up again until 1859, when a movement 
started to have Protestant services of a general 
character, there not being enough of any one 
sect to maintain a church. The Rev, W. E. 
Boardman acted as pastor. It was decided to 
erect a church structure, and a lot was secured 
at the southwest corner of Temple and New 
High, where the steps now lead up to the 
court house. A brick building was begun, but 
before it was finished Mr. Boardman left the 
city, and the meetings were abandoned. The 

Between Old and New. 291 

building was finally turned over to the Rev. 
Elias Birdsall, an Episcopal clergyman, who 
had been officiating for a small body of that 
faith that met in Odd Fellows hall in the Dow- 
ney block. Episcopal services were first 
held in the city in 1857, and a parish was or- 
ganized in that year, but it continued only a 
short time. 

The Baptist church began in the year 1861, 
although occasional services were held during 
the '50s, the first being by a Mr. Freeman in 

1853, The first Jewish services were held in 

1854. The first congregation was organized by 
Rabbi A. W. Edelman, whose long term of ser- 
vice lasted until 1886, 

The abandonment of this field by the 
clergymen of the various Protestant sects dur- 
ing the later '50s, while it may not be entirely 
creditable to their devotion to the service, 
gives some indication, nevertheless, of the 
moral darkness that hung over the city at that 
time. The Catholic church continued its min- 
istrations, of course, but few of the Americans 
attended its services. The "Star" commented 
upon the departure of the Presbyterian preach- 
er in these terms: "To preach week after 
week to empty benches is certainly not en- 
couraging, but if, in addition to that, a minister 
has to contend against a torrent of vice and im- 
morality which obliterates all traces of the 
Christian Sabbath — to be compelled to endure 
blasphemous denunciations of his divine Mas- 
ter, to live where society is disorganized, relig- 

m Mishry of Los Angelei. 

ion scoffed at, where violence runs riot, and 
even life itself is unsafe — such a condition of 
affairs may suit some men, but it is not calcu- 
lated for the peaceful labors of one who follows 
unobtrusively the footsteps of the meek and 
lowly Savior." 

The Masonic order came into existence in 
Los Angeles in 1854 with Los Angeles Lodge, 
No. 42. The next year came the Odd Fellows, 
Los Angeles Lodge, No. 35. The Hebrew Be- 
nevolent Society was organized in 1854; the 
French Benevolent Society in i860. The Teu- 
tonia Concordia, afterward Turnverein, was 
started in 1859. In that same year there was a 
series of lectures given by the Los Angeles 
Mechanics Institute; the Library Association 
started a small reading-room at the corner of 
Court and North Spring street, and an agricul- 
tural society came into existence. These three 
organizations perished when the Civil War 
broke out. 

The first hospital for the sick was opened 
in 1858 in a private house by some Sisters of 
Charity from Maryland. This was the begin- 
ning of the "Sisters' Hospital," which now oc- 
cupies a large building on Bellevue avenue. 
The Catholic Orphan Asylum was founded in 
1856. St. Vincent's college for boys began in 
1855. The decade was one of considerable de- 
velopment in the local Catholic church. 

Los Angeles was incorporated as a city in 
1851. During this decade the mayors were 
elected annually, and the list runs as follows: 

Between Old and New. 293 

A. P. Hodges, 1850; B. D. Wilson, 1851 ; J. G. 
Nichols, 1852; A. F. Coronel, 1853; Stephen 
C. Foster, 1854; Thos. Foster, 1855; Stephen 
C, Foster, 1856, four months; J. G. Nichols, 
1856-7-8; D. Marchessault, 1859; Henry Mel- 
ius. i860. 

In 1852 the city began to give away the 
land in the southwestern section of the city in 
35-acre tracts to all who would agree to make 
improvements. In 1855 the land south of Pico 
street to the western and southern boundaries 
of the city was surveyed in 35-acre pieces by 
Henry Hancock. Two years later A. Waldc- 
mar made a similar survey for the portion 
north of Pico to the western boundary. 

In 1848, of 103 proprietors of farms in the 
city, only eight were "gringos," i. e., not native 
Californians, Three years later, of the thirteen 
principal property owners in the county, six 
were Americans and they owned 135,000 out of 
500,000 acres, and $306,000 out of $500,000 of 
personal property. In 1858, out of forty-five 
principal property owners in the county, 
twenty-five were American and twenty Cali- 
fornian. The two largest individual taxpayers 
were Abel Stearns, $186,000, and John Temple, 
$89,000. During most of the 50's interest was 
5 per cent a month, and the Californians were 
easy borrowers. In 1856 the city's real estate 
was assessed at $187,582, and the improve- 
ments at $457,535- 

The average annual income to the people of 
the county from the sale of cattle during this 

294 Hisbfty of Los AngeUs. 

period was between $25o/x» and $5oo/xx}, the 
latter figure being reached only one year, 1856. 
Next to cattle raising, the production of grapes 
was the most lucrative form of industry. In 
1849 and 1S50 grapes sold for I2>^c a pound 
on the vine, to be shipped to San Francisco, 
where they retailed at any price. In 1858 there 
were loio acres in vines, and a few years later 
3000. In 1851 about a thousand gallons of wine 
were shipped from Los Angeles. Soon after 
this the northern counties began to grow 
grapes and make wine, so the shipments to San 
Francisco diminished; but in 1855 exportation 
to the eastern market began. In 1857, 2i,<yyi 
boxes of grapes, or nearly a million pounds, 
and 250,000 gallons of wine were shipped out. 
By i860 the shipments of wine had increased 
to 66,000 cases. 

In 1856 the yield of oranges was estimated 
at 400 boxes, or a little more than one carload. 
Wm. Wolfskin, who had the principal orchard, 
declared that he had received $100 apiece in- 
come from several of his trees. By i860 it was 
estimated that there were 2500 trees in the 
state, of which three-fourths were in and 
around Los Angeles. 

Iron working and wagon making began in 
Los Angeles with John Goller, who arrived in 
the city by way of Salt Lake in 1849. The 
charge for shoeing a horse at that time wtts 
$16. There was a great scarcity of iron, and 
Goller sent out on the roads traveled by the 
emigrants for old abandoned tires, and worked 

Between Old and New. 295 

them Up into horseshoes. When he finally 
managed, after many difficulties, to construct 
a wagon, he kept it a long time before he found 
a purchaser. Compared with the carreta it 
looked insubstantial, and was regarded with 
suspicion by the Californians. 

The making of brick was begun by J. D. 
Hunter in 1852, and the first structure built of 
them was at Third and Main ; the second was a 
jail building. In 1858 over two million brick 
were sold for a number of improvements that- 
were either under way or were projected, such 
as the Temple market house, afterward taken 
over by the county for $40,000, to be used as a 
court house, the southern portion of the Tem- 
ple block, the brick flouring mill of Stearns S: 
Scott, now the Capitol Milling Co., and the Ar- 
cadia block on Arcadia and Los Angeles. 

In 1854 the first brewing establishment was 
set up in Los Angeles, and a tannery started. 
In 1855 the first flouring mill began operations, 
and in that same year the culture of bees was 
undertaken by O. W. ChiUls, who is said to 
have paid $100 tor one hive and swarm brought 
down from San Francisco. In 1850 the first 
drug store was established by Dr. Osborne, 
who came to Los Angeles from New York. He 
was presently succeeded in the business by 
John G. Downey, who afterwards became one 
of the wealthiest men of the region and served 
as governor of the state. 

April 15, 1851, the first child of American 
parentage on both sides was born in Los An- 

296 History of Los AngtUs. 

geles: John Gregg Nichols, whose father, a 
year later, was elected to the mayoralty. 

In 1855 came the Kern river gold excite- 
ment. There was a great rush from the north- 
ern diggings and from Los Angeles city into 
Tulare county, where it was reported that vast 
quantities of gold had been discovered. There 
was, however, very little gold to be obtained in 
the San Joaquin valley, and many of the disap- 
pointed miners and adventurers drifted down 
■ to Los Angeles, wl-ere they contributed a new 
element to the prevailing lawlessness of the 
time. Partly as a result of the Kern river ex- 
citement a new interest sprang up in the San 
Gabriel mines, and at one time Los Angeles 
bid fair to have a gold furore of its own. 

In 1852 the "Sea Bird" began making reg- 
ular trips three times a month between San 
Francisco and San Pedro, and in that same 
year D. W. Alexander and Phineas Banning 
put in a sta^e line from the coast to the city. 
In 1851 Alexander had brought in from Salt 
Lake ten heavy freight wagons, the first ever 
seen in Los Angeles. In 1853 a train of four- 
teen wagons and sixty-eight mules were 
brought in from Chihuahua at a cost of $23,000. 
J. L. Tomlinson put in an opposition line to 
that of Alexander & Banning in 1853, and for 
many years there was active competition in 
freight and passenger business, and the teams 
raced against each other on the way to the 

Between Old and New. 297 

The passenger fare from San Francisco to 
San Pedro in the early 50's was $45, and freight 
was $25 a ton. The fare from San Pedro to 
Los Angeles was $10, but competition finally 
brought it down to $2.50, and even below that 
for 3 short time. Freight from San Pedro was 
from 50 cents to $1 a hundredweight — about 
what is now charged from New York to Los 
Angeles. In 1855 freighting began between 
Los Angeles and Salt Lake, which had in- 
creased by 1859 to a considerable business. 
This ceased, of course, when the railroad con- 
nection was established between the Mormon 
city and San Francisco. In 1858 some experi- 
ments were carried on by the national govern- 
ment in the use of camels for freighting be- 
tween Los Angeles and Arizona, but the plan 
was not a success. 

In 1850 the Bella Union, now the St. 
Charles, on North Main street, was the only 
hotel. In 1856 the United States (not the mod- 
ern building) was constructed on Main and 
Requena streets. Shortly afterwards the La- 
fayette opened in a building that was the pre- 
decessor of the modern St. Elmo, In 1856 
Ramon Alexander, an eccentric French sailor, 
began the construction of the "Round House," 
a peculiar affair built in imitation of a resi- 
dence he had seen in South Africa. It was lo- 
cated at the corner of Third and Main streets, 
and in the later so's was transformed into a 

398 History oj Los AngeUt. 

saloon, with a garden to the rear of it, run- 
ning through to Spring street 

The vote of Los Angeles in 1856 was 522 
for Fremont, the Republican candidate, against 
722 for Buchanan, Democrat. Much of the 
vote that went to Fremont was influenced by 
personal consideration. His residence in Los 
Angeles and on the coast had given him many 
friends in the vicinity. Four years later Lin- 
coln received only 356 votes, against 703 for 
Breckenridge, 494 for Douglas (total Demo- 
cratic 1 197), and 201 for Bell. 

In 1849 a special water department of the 
city government was organized, for at that 
time the city owned and operated its own wa- 
ter system. In 1857 Wm. Dryden was given a 
franchise to supply water drawn from the 
springs located on the land in the vicinity of 
the old Southern Pacific depot on San Fer- 
nando street, which was raised by means of a 
water wheel in the zanja. A brick reservoir 
was constructed in the plaza and some iron 
pipe was laid along Main and Los Angeles 
streets. This system was maintained until 



QURING the period from i860 to 1870 
Los Angeles fell back into its Spanish- 
American habit of standing still. Some 
progress was made; the city was a lit- 
tle larger, and perhaps a little better 
behaved at the end of the period than at the 
beginning, but the advance was not to be com- 
pared with that of the preceding ten years, 
nor with what is usually achieved in such a 
length of time in an American city. The popu- 
lation was increased by about a thousand peo- 
ple, but the percentage of gain was scarcely 
that of the average throughout the country, 
showing that there was not much immigration 
from the east. The assessment roll doubled, 
rising to a total of over $2,000,000 in 1870, and 
there was some enlargement of the city's re- 
sources in the adding of new industries. On 
the other hand, that which had been from the 
beginning of the Spanish occupation of the 
territory the chief pursuit of the people — cat- 
tle-raising — received a severe setback by 
droughts, and, in fact, very nearly ceased to 

California was, before the war, a Demo- 
cratic state, and it contained a very consider- 
able southern element that favored slavery 
and upheld the doctrine of state rights to its 

300 History of Los AngoUs. 

farthest limit. One of the senators of the 
state, Mr. Gwin, made the assertion in Wash- 
ington that if the South seceded California 
would go with it. When called to account for 
this utterance he modified it to the extent of 
saying that if the Union came to be split up, 
California would start a Pacific coast republic 
of its own. After the war had begun this man 
left the state to enter the diplomatic service of 
the Confederacy. When things came to a 
straight-out issue, it was discovered that the 
Union men, Democrats and Republicans to- 
gether, were strongly in the majority in the 
state ; but during the years 1859, i860 and 1861 
there was room for doubt as to which side Cal- 
ifornia would espouse. The southern element 
was particularly strong in the lower end of 
the state, as will be seen from the fact that 
Los Angeles county gave Breckinridge twice 
as many votes as it gave Lincoln, and nearly 
twice as many as it gave Douglas, who repre- 
sented the northern or Union democracy. 

Just before the war an effort was made to 
cut the state in two at the line north of San 
Luis Obispo and Kern counties, evidently 
with the design of securing another piece of 
slave territory. The state legislature of 1859 
passed an act authorizing an election to be 
held in the southern counties, to vote on the 
question of separating from the rest of the 
state and forming a territorial government of 
their own, under the name "Colorado." The 
election was held, and more than two-thirds 

/» r<ir Time. 301 

of the vote was in favor of separation. Up to 
this time no state in the Union had ever suf- 
fered a division, and when the plan was 
broached in Washington it was found to in- 
volve a number of legal and political compli- 
cations. Before the separation could be con- 
summated the war broke out and the matter 
was laid aside, and presently forgotten. 

In 1861 the man who afterwards became fa- 
mous as Major General W. S. Hancock was 
sent to Los Angeles by the national govern- 
ment to see that the stores and arms which 
had been gathered there met with no misfor- 
tunes. The dutiful sons of southern states 
were constantly passing through Los Angeles 
at this time, on their way to join the Confed- 
erate army, and on account of the turbulence 
that had always prevailed in that city there 
were grave fears that the rebellious element 
might get the upper hand. Upon his arrival 
in Los Angeles Hancock called upon the I-os 
Angeles Guards, a local organization of loyal 
young men, to protect the government prop- 
erty, and they responded in a way to set at 
rest all question of how Los Angeles would 
stand during the contest. The flag was hoisted 
over the court house, Hancock made a stirring 
speech to the assembled people, and in the 
evening of that day a public banquet was held, 
at which patriotic toasts were delivered. 

There were occasional expressions of dis- 
loyalty during the progress of the war, that the 
local representatives of the government found 


308 History tf Los AugeUs. 

it necessary to rebuke, although extreme meas- 
ures were never employed. At one time 
the order was issued forbidding soldiers to en- 
ter the Bella Union and the United States ho- 
tels, because of the attitude of their proprie- 
tors toward the Union cause. In 1863 the au- 
thorities became suspicious that the alleged 
working of mines on Catalina island was mere- 
ly a scheme to establish headquarters there for 
Confederate privateers, and the island was 
closed to the public for a time. There is no 
evidence, however, that this theory rested on 
any substantial basis. It was a period of false 
mining "booms" — ^that of Catalina with the 
rest. In i860 and 1861 considerable mining 
development was undertaken in the mountains 
north of Los Angeles, and for a year or two 
Wells-Fargo was shipping out nearly $12,000 
a month in gold. 

The telegraph line which had been con- 
structed between San Francisco and the east 
was extended to Los Angeles in i860, and $100 
a month was subscribed by citizens for daily 
dispatches that should keep them posted on 
the events of the war. The principal papers 
of this period were the "Star" and the "News," 
the latter becoming a daily in 1869, and con- 
tinuing publication till 1873, when it suspend- 
ed. Both were Democratic in politics, the 
"Star" decidedly on the "copperhead" order. 
The Republican party made considerable 
gains, however, voting 555 for Lincoln in 1864, 
as against 744 for McClellan. Four years later 

In War Time. 303 

the vote in the county was 748 for Grant 
against 1236 for Seymour. 

The mayors of this period were: D. Maiv 
chessault, 1861 to 1864, and again in 1867; Jose 
Mascarel, 1865; C. Aguilar, 1866, 1868 to 1869, 
and Joel Turner, 1869 to 1871. The term was 
now lengthened to two years. An important 
change in the school system was effected in 
1866, when the office of superintendent was 
made appointive instead of elective. In 1869 
the position was filled for the first time by a 
professional and experienced teacher. In 1865 
the census showed 1009 children of school age, 
but of these only 331 attended the public insti- 
tutions. The remainder were divided about 
equally between the private schools and the 

The industrial development of this epoch 
was affected in 3 considerable degree by the 
erratic behavior of the rainfall. In 1862 the 
year opened with one of the greatest floods Cal- 
ifornia has ever known, which carried away all 
the water service erected by the city and by 
private individuals, and damaged many hun- 
dred acres of orchard and farms. The period 
was, as a whole, however, one of under-average 
rainfall. The total for the ten years was only 
a little over ninety inches, or an average of 
nine per annum. In the season 1862-63 only 
four inches fell, and that was badly distributed, 
and in the following year there was little more 
than a trace. Cattle were slaughtered by the 
thousand, and died of starvation by the tens 

304 History of Los AngeUs, 

of thousands. Vast herds were auctioned off 
at 37J'2 cents a head to be killed. The cattle 
industry received a blow from which it never 
recovered, and during the first years after the 
drought there was nothing to take its place as 
a producer of revenue for the country. Gov- 
ernor Downey advocated the raising of sheep, 
and as the grade of the flocks had been im- 
proved since the American occupation of the 
country, wool presently became a staple. 

In iS68 there was another great flood. 
Again all the apparatus for city water ser- 
vice was carried away. The San Gabriel river 
chanpfcd its course from the old to the new 
bed, aiul a great area of good farming country 
was utterly ruined. In the seasons 1869-70 and 
1870-71 there was very little rainfall — ^a total 
of only ten inches for the whole period. This 
succession of floods and of dry times gave very 
little encouragement to those who were experi- 
menting in horticulture, and small prog^ress 
was made. In 1867 there were about 9000 or- 
ange trees in bearing. By 1870 the assessment 
showed 34,000 fruit and nut trees of all kinds 
in the county. A considerable planting of 
walnut trees began during the latter years of 
this decade. 

About 1865 a movement began among the 
owners of large grants to cut them up into 
small farming tracts and place them on the 
market. In i868-6c) there was considerable ac- 
tivity in real estate transactions in and around 
Los Angeles. The price of good farming land» 

In War Tiine. 305 

which had been from $3 to $5 an acre, began 
to rise a little. After the death of John Tem- 
ple, in 1866, a number of real estate transac- 
tions took place in closing up his estate which 
will give some idea of values at the time. The 
Cerritos ranch was sold to the Bixbys for 
$125,000, 27,000 acres, including the present 
site of Long Beach, Twenty-two lots, 50 feet 
each, on Spring street, scattt-red along from 
First street to Fourth, sold for $50 apiece. The 
Temple block property, including the southern 
part of the building, brought $10,000, In 1863 
over 2000 acres, forming the best part of what 
is now called East Los Angeles, was sold by 
the city authorities for $1014.75, '"' 5*^ cents an 
acre, to Dr. John S. Griffin. 

In 1868 George Hansen made a survey for 
the city of the tract now called Boyle Heights, 
cutting it up into thirty-five-acre tracts. In 
the same year the district along the river now 
covered by Elysian park and the adjoining 
lands was surveyed by Mr. Hansen. A year 
later the section lying to the south of the Ely- 
sian hills and west of the Ord survey was sur- 
veyed and prepared for occupation. 

In 1869 a considerable amount of building 
was under way. Up to that time there were no 
three-story buildings in the town, and the only 
two-story structures were the Bella Union, the 
United States Hotel, the Lafayette (now St. 
Elmo), Bell's block (or Melius row), Stearns' 
block (the Arcadia, which is still standing), 
the old court house, a portion of the Temple 

a06 History of Los Ang*Ut. 

block, and several stores on Los Angeles and 
Main streets. The Pico house was begun in 
1869 on the site of the old Carrillo residence. 
J. A. Carrillo, the famous politician and man of 
affairs, had passed away in 1862. Work began 
on the Roman Catholic cathedral in 1869 at the 
location which was first selected on Main 
street between Fifth and Sixth. It was after- 
wards changed to Main street near Second, 
and the present structure was begun there in 
1871. St, Vincent's college building on Broad- 
way and Sixth was begun in 1866. 

The first bank in Los Angeles was opened 
in 1868 under the title of Alvinza Hayward & 
Co., with a capital of $100,000. John G. Dow- 
ney was one of the partners. In the same year 
the banking house of Hellman, Temple & Co. 
was organized, with a capital of $125,000. In 
1871 these two institutions united, forming 
the Farmers and Merchants bank of today. 
The Temple & Workman bank came into ex- 
istence in 1872. 

In 1867 the manufacture of gas was begun. 

Agitation in favor of the construction of a 
railroad from San Pedro to Los Angeles com- 
menced early in this decade, and the purpose 
was finally achieved, and the railway started 
into operation, in the fall of 1869. 

The leader in this movement was Fhineas 
Banning, who owned the stage and freighting 
line between Los Angeles and the seashore, 
and was largely interested in Wilmington and 

/« War Time. 307 

the land surrounding that place. He served as 
member of the California senate from 1865 to 
1868. In 1S63 a bill passed the le^slature au- 
thorizing the county of Los Angeles to issue 
bonds to the amount of $100,000, and the city 
to issue to the amount of $50,000, the proceeds 
to be used in subscriptions to the stock of the 
proposed railway line. It took about five years 
of active missionary work to arouse public sen- 
timent to a point where there was any prospect 
of carrying such an issue of bonds, and by that 
time it had been decided that the amount pro- 
posed was insufficient. In 1868 a new bill 
passed the legislature raising the figures to 
$150,000 for the county and $75,000 for the city, 
or a total of $225,000. The unprogressive ele- 
ment of the community, including, as is usual 
in such cases, some of the heaviest taxpayers, 
fought the scheme with great persistence, de- 
claring that it would bankrupt the county, and 
that about two trains a month would carry all 
the freight the railroad would ever secure. The 
issue turned on whether the road could be 
made to pay expenses, or would prove a con- 
stant drain on the county. Within a few years 
after the opening of the road it was running 
fifty cars of freight and passengers a day in 
and out of Los Angeles. The vote on the 
bonds stood 397 for and 245 against. The rail- 
way went into operation in November, 1869. 
Its freight schedule was simple enough, the 
principle items being : Dry goods, $6 per ton ; 

JIM mstawy af Im AmfOtt. 

f^oceries, Ss p«r ton; empty pipes, %i each. 
PaflMn^era were charjifed $1.50 from tbc tics' 
sel to Wilmington and $1 additional to the 
city. The road was profitable from the very 

The treqaent floods of this period, with the 
ci-jusequent destrnction of the various city wa- 
ter ny^rcma, served to discourage the anthori- 
ties from attempting permanent municipal ope- 
ration of the water supply, and propositions 
of all kinds looking to private control of this 
utility were offered and considered daring the 
decade. In 1861 water "script" — an easily ne- 
gotiable form of municipal obligation — was is- 
siiH fo ihe amount of Si5,ooo, and a year later 
the rity jif^tilioned the legislature to be al- 
lowed lo issue bon'ls to the amount of $25,000 
to con^itriirt a water system. In 1862 a contract 
w;i=i l<:t to Jf-an L. Sainsevain to build a dam, 
flume and other works for Si8,ooo. In 1865 the 
rity Icasifl this system to D. W. Alexander for 
four ycjirs at a rcnlal of $1000 a year. He 
Iraiisfrrrc'l the Irasc to Sainsevain, who con- 
liiiiicvl the work for three years, during which 
litne lie j)nt down w(Kiden service pipes as far 
as Third street. These were not a success, as 
Ihey rniicd and leaked at the joints. In 1868 
Sfhitisevaiii sold (Hit to Dr. John S. Griffin, Pru- 
dnil I'randry anil Solomon Lazard, and they 
iii!nl(' a pniixisitidii tn the council to lease the 
whole sysleiii (or fifty years, which was prcs- 
eiilly (hanjjed lo a plan to buy the whole plant 

In War Time. 309 

for $10,000, on the understanding that they 
were to expend $200,000 in betterments, in re- 
turn for which they were to have a perpetual 
franchise to take ten inches of water from the 
river to be sold to the citizens. This proposi- 
tion came within one vote of carrying the coun* 
cil, in spite of great opposition from the peo- 
ple, who were unwilling that the last hope of a 
public water system should be destroyed. 

Finally in 1868 bids were received on a 
thirty-years contract to provide the city with 
water; and Griffin and his associates offered 
$1500 a year for the privilege, agreeing also to 
effect the necessary betterments, to which was 
added the construction of an ornamental foun- 
tain in the plaza. At the end of the period the 
plant was to be bought by the city at a price 
to be fixed by arbitrators. There were several 
other bids, but this one was the most advan* 
tageous to the city. Had the matter ever been 
presented to the people, it would probably 
have been refused acceptance, as two council- 
men, elected just at that time to fill vacancies, 
were both avowed opponents of the plan. It 
was carried through the council and went into 
effect July 22, 1868. The $1500 a year rental 
to the city was presently cut to %£pa a year 
by a compliant council. This contract expired 
in 1898, and after much litigation the city pur- 
chased the plant for $2,000,000 — a figure which 
was doubtless far beyond the wildest imagina- 
tion of the council of 1868. 




IHE long period of slow growth and of 
stagnation for Los Angeles was now 
at an end. It had taken ninety years 
to accumulate a population of 5000, 
and in the next succeeding score 
of years a marvelous transformation was 
to take place. The changes of the first 
decade, that from 1870 to 1880, were not 
entirely unexpected. Those of the second, 
from 1880 to 1890, exceeded the wildest proph- 
ecies. TliRt the building of a railway into 
Los Anpeles connecting it with the eastern 
states should cause its population to increase 
100 per cent was not surprising; but that the 
building of a second road should cause the in- 
creased number to multiply 500 per cent — a 
total advance from 5000 to 50,000 in twenty 
years, or from 5000 to over 100,000 in thirty 
years — that was a marvel that no one could 
be expected to foresee. 

The immediate success that was achieved 
by the railroad from Wilmington to the city, 
not only in the freight and passengers it car- 
ried, but also in the impetus it gave to numer- 
ous lines of industry in the county, encour- 
aged the people of this region to cast about 
for further opportunities of the same kind. 
The famous railway operator, Thomas A, 

The Coming of tht Railway. 311 

Scott, who was pushing out into the southwest 
across Texas, had projected a line through 
California from Yuma to San Diego. He pro- 
posed to bring this north along the coast, if 
suitable inducements were offered by Los An- 
geles. At the same time the owners of the 
Central Pacific were building southward, and 
by 1872 were well down into the San Joaquin 
valley. That region of the state already con- 
tained a number of settlements or towns, some 
of which numbered from 500 to 1000 people. 
As the road drew near these it demanded a 
free right of way and, in most cases,. a bonus . 
of some description. Where this was refused 
the line was run some distance from the town, 
and a new population center established. Most 
of the towns thus abandoned were ruined, or 
were compelled to move bodily to the new lo- 
cation. Two exceptions to the rule were 
Bakersiield and Visalia, which have managed 
to hold their own in spite of the snub. It 
must not be supposed that the policy of the 
road in this matter contained any element of 
malevolence. The issue was one of business; 
the question- for the town to determine being 
whether it needed the road, and for the road 
whether it needed the town. 

The people of Los Angeles had the object 
lesson of the San Joaquin valley towns before 
Ihem, when the railroad reached the moun- 
tains at the southern end of that region and 
paused to ask what the ancient pueblo would 
do. Did the people of Los Angeles desire the 

313 History of Los Ang*Us. 

railway connection with San Fnncisco and 
the east sufficiently to be willing to pay 5 per 
cent of the assessed valuation of ^1 laud and 
improvements in their county, or would they 
prefer to see the new road turn to the east 
along the mountains and pass Los Angeles 
by on the other side? 

Five per cent on the assessed valuation of 
$12,000,000 would be $6oo,ooa There was 
also an item of sixty acres to be given for 
depot purposes at some advantageous location 
within the city limits. As with the road to 
the water front, there was again great diver- 
gence of opinion. The Texas Pacific scheme 
of Scott was in the air, but had not been pre- 
sented as yet in the form of a definite proposi- 
tion. The Southern Pacific, on the other hand, 
was ready to begin work immediately. An 
understanding was reached between represen- 
tatives of the railroad and the city that, if the 
people would vote to ratify the plan, the city 
and county would give the stock that they 
held in the San Pedro line, and donate the 
necessary sixty acres, and also issue 7 per 
cent twenty-year bonds in the sum of $377,000, 
making a total of $610,000 of subsidy; and in 
return for this the railroad was to build down 
through the Solcdad canyon into the city and 
out to the east to San Bernardino, to connect 
ultimately with the Texas Pacific at Yuma, 
To win the concurrence of the people of the 
southeastern part of the county, the region 
since set off to make Orange county, it was 

The Coming of the Railway. 313 

agreed that a branch line should be construct- 
ed to Anaheim. 

The matter was put to a vote, after a year's 
active discussion, in November, 1872, and it 
carried by a good majority. There were many 
intelligent men and large taxpayers who de- 
clared that the county was hazarding all its 
future in this enormous obligation, but the 
dismal alternative of being left out of the rail- 
way development of the state compelled them 
to vote in favor of the bonds. Before half the 
period for which the securities were to run 
had elapsed, the county assessment had in- 
creased from $12,000,000 to $35,000,000, and 
at the end of the twenty yeavs the valuation 
was nearly $100,000,000. The burden, there- 
fore, did not prove to be very serious. 

The construction of a railway over the 
great Tehachapi pass, and through the moun- 
tains of San Fernando was a slow and labori- 
ous undertaking, and it was not until four 
years after the proposition carried that the 
trains began running between San Francisco 
and Los Angeles. The ceremony of driving 
the golden spike was held at Soledad, Septem- 
ber 6, 1876. Three hundred and fifty citizens 
of Los Angeles went up from the pueblo to 
meet fifty residents of San Francisco, who 
came down to celebrate the union of the two 
cities. San Francisco was than a little larger 
than Los Angeles is at present, while Los An- 
geles was about the size of Pomona. There 
were speeches full of hope and good fellow- 

314 History of Los Angtus, 

ship, and then the whole party repaired to 
Los Angeles, where a banquet was given at 
Union hall in the Jones block, at which a con- 
siderable amount of wine was consumed. The 
old Spanish pueblo was at last in touch with 
the great American system of progress and 

Scarcely was one road out into the world 
completed, when agitation was begun for a 
second. This was to be known as the Los An- 
geles and Independence railroad, with one 
terminus at Santa Monica, where it was be- 
lieved a good harbor could be constructed, and 
the other at the town of Independence in Inyo 
county, the center of a district which was then 
believed to be of great promise, but which 
has never attained the expected development 
because of a lack of transportation facilities. 
It was confidently hoped that after this much 
of the road was built, it would go on to Salt 
Lake City, The largest stockholder wai J. 
P. Jones, who afterwards became United 
Stales senator from Nevada. Local capital 
was interested to some extent The line from 
Santa Monica was constructed in 1875, and 
a substantial wharf was built at its ocean ter- 
minus. The hard times that swept over the 
country after the failure of Jay Cooke and 
the Black Friday episode made it impossible 
to secure funds to carry out the extension to 
the north, and the plan was abandoned. The 
Santa Monica branch was sold in 1878 to the 
Southern Pacific company, which proceedet} 

XI; Coming of iht Railway. 315 

to take down the wharf, as it interfered with 
business at San Pedro. 

The immediate effect of all this railway 
projection and construction, from the San Pe- 
dro line in 1869 through to the Southern Pa- 
cific connections and the Santa Monica line 
in 1875 and 1876, was to produce considerable 
activity in all forms of industrial development. 
As is usual in such cases, anticipation ran 
rather ahead of the actual event and was fol~ 
lowed by depression when the extravagant 
hopes were not realized. The dry years and 
the unfavorable money conditions in the east 
helped to complicate matters. By the year 
1875 the bank panic which had been spreading 
across the country struck Los Angeles. One 
of the banks — the Temple & Workman — was 
in an unsound condition, owing to the reckless 
and extravagant policy of its chief owner, F. 
P. F. Temple, who was a younger brother of 
John Temple, The other two were on a solid 
basis, but as the railway connection to San 
Francisco had not been established, and as 
it would take about a week to get word to 
the city and bring money back, it was agreed 
that all three should close their doors for a 
time. For two of the banks this suspension 
was of brief duration, but for the Temple & 
Workman bank it was permanent, and the 
loss of the depositors was complete. This bad 
failure wrought serious demoralization to the 
development that was just beginning in Los 
Angeles, turning confidence and hope into 

116 Hisiory of Los AmgoU^ 

doubt and discouragement. Nearly half a 
score of years passed before the evil effects 
of the disaster were entirely dispelled. 

There was some agricultural advance dur- 
ing the decade, for the growing of wheat be- 
gan on a considerable scale in the San Fernan- 
do, and the acreage in com increased greatly. 
There was some planting of fruit trees, but 
the mistaken idea still prevailed that enormous 
quantities of water must be applied to the tree 
to make it bear in the dry climate, and only 
those nearest to the streams ventured into hor- 
ticulture. In 1877 J. De Barth Shorb declared 
that he had sold his orange crop from seven 
acres for $7000. These went chiefly to the 
San Francisco market. In 1877 Wm. Wolf- 
skill shipped the first carload of oranges to the 
eastern market. They were landed in 
St. Louis in good condition after a month in 
transit. The carrying charge was $500. The 
chief product of the region was now wine, of 
which 1,329,000 gallons were shipped in 1875. 
In 1874 fruit drying began on a small scale. 
In 1878 a pavilion for the holding of horticul- 
tural fairs was built on Temple street. 

The growing confidence in the future of 
the city showed in the establishment in 1873 
of a chamber of commerce. The first meeting 
was held in the courthouse August i, with 
Governor Downey presiding and J. M. Griffith 
acting as secretary. One hundred names were 
enrolled. Among the first directors chosen 

71* Cominir of the Railway. 317 

was M. J. Newmark, who recently served a 
term as president of the modern chamber of 
commerce. The organization started out 
briskly, but was discouraged by the bank fail- 
ure and the dry years, and about 1877 it gave 
up the ghost. One piece of work to 
which it particularly applied itself dur- 
ing its existence was the securing of 
the first appropriation for the improve- 
ment of San Pedro harbor — the sum of 
$150,000 — which was used toward a project 
devised by Col, G. H. Mendell of the United 
States army engineering corps. The indefat- 
igable Banning included the building of a 
harbor at San Pedro among the labors he had 
allotted to himself to accomplish for Los An- 
geles, and by long agitation had succeeded in 
getting the matter in shape to be acted upon 
in congress. The project called for a total 
expenditure of $425,000, and contemplated 
getting about fifteen feet of water at low tide 
on the bar. The appropriation was afterward 
doubled, and a total of sixteen feet gained. 
Toward the end of this decade the harbor be- 
gan to be serviceable for vessels of light draft. 
The subdivision of the large Mexican land 
grants in the vicinity of Los Angeles contin- 
ued actively, and hundreds of'small ranches 
from forty to two hundred acres in extent 
were established in the county. Settlements 
began to spring up. One of the most notable 
of these was the Indiana colony, which came 

318 HUlory i^ Los AmgtUi. 

to be known as Pasadena a year or two after 
its founding. Another was Potnotu, which, 
as its name indicates, was designed as a fruit- 
growing colony. The popularity of Santa 
Monica as an ocean resort began shortly after 
the building of the Los Angeles and Independ- 
ence road. The population of the county as a 
whole increased from 15,309 to 33,881 in the 
ten years from i8;ro to i880j which was even 
a larger rate of growth than was shown by 
the city. Its assessed valuation went up from 
$7,000,000 to $18,000,000. 

The doubling of population in the city led 
to the developing of new residence districts, 
and the increase of business brought some ac- 
tivity in building. In 1873 East Los Angeles 
was laid out and a year or two later was 
placed on the market and settled up with 
homes. In 1876 a similar development began 
in Boyle Heights. Small bridges were built 
down in the river bottom, one at Downey 
avenue, opposite East Los Angeles, and one 
at Aliso street, opposite Boyle Heights. Dur- 
ing this decade Prudent Beaudry and J. W. 
Potts spent nearly $175,000 in improving th« 
western hill section, grading streets and put- 
ling in an extensive water system. The dis- 
trict they improved was chiefly along Temple 
and Second streets, and is now given up for 
the most part to oil derricks, but it was, dur- 
ing the '708 and '80s, one of the best resi- 
dence districts of the city. In 1874 the first 

The Coming of the Railway. 319 

city railroad was built, the "Sixth and Spring 
street" line, about two and a half miles in 
length. A year later the Main street line waa 
constructed, and that was followed presently 
by the line to East Los Angeles. 

The assessment of the city's property in- 
creased from $2,000,000 to $7,000,000 during 
this period. In 1871 the Downey block waa 
built, and in 1872 the northern portion of the 
Temple block, to be used as the Temple and 
Workman bank. It was afterward used by the 
Los Angeles County bank. In 1874 about 
$300,000 was expended for business buildings. 
In 1876 the Baker block was built, the most 
elegant structure of its time not only for Los 
Angeles, but for all the state outside of San 
Francisco. This was a period of frequent 
fires, but an efficient 6re department waa 
finally organized, with a good steam fire en- 

The newspapers of the city that now ex- 
ist began publication during this epoch, the 
Evening Express in 1871, with Ben C. Tru- 
man and H. C. Austin as its earliest editors, 
and the Herald in 1873, under the manage- 
ment of C. A. Storke, who now lives in Santa 
Barbara. Both of these papers presently 
came to be owned and edited by J. D. Lynch, 
with whom J. J. Ayres was afterwards asso- 
ciated as a partner. In 1875 the Mirror, which 
was the weekly edition of the Times daily, 

3a> History of Los AmgtUi. 

was founded. The Hmes came into existence 
in 1881. 

The mayors of this period were C. Agm- 
lar, 1871-72; J. R, Toberman, 1873-74, 1879^; 
P. Beaudry, 1875-76; A. F. McDougal, 1877- 
78. The county continued to be democratic 
in politics, giving, in 1872, Greeley 1227 and 
O'Connor 650 against Grant 1312. In 1876 
the vote stood Tilden 3616 to Hayes 304a 

In 1873 the high school building was con- 
structed on' the hill where the courthouse now 
stands. The first teachers' institute was held 
in 1870. The percentage of school attend- 
ance, which was only 6 per cent in 1865, and 
only 20 per cent in 1870, rose to 37 per cent 
in 1880. In 1890 it was 63. In 1873 the Li- 
brary association raised, by subscription, 
funds enough to open a small library and 
reading room in the Downey block, which 
was supported in its running expenses by a 
small city tax. Books were either donated or 
were purchased with funds from entertain- 
ments and other semi-public sources of reve- 

A considerable moral improvement took 
place during this epoch, influenced to some ex- 
tent by a reaction after the wild excesses that 
culminated in the Chinese riot in 1871. In 
1870 there were lio drinking places in the city 
— to 5000 population. Now, thirty-five years 
later, there are 200 drinking places to over 
100,000 population. This was the time of the 

?ll« Coming' of the Railway. 

of Vasqucz, California's most fa- 
mous bandit, who ranged the state with his 
band from 1863 to 1874, making his headquar- 
ters generally in the southern region. His 
record of murders and robberies exceeds that 
of Jack Shepard or Dick Turpin. He was cap- 
tured in the Cahuenga in 1874 and hanged the 
next year. 



^E word "boom" is a convenient bit of 
slang that arrived at the opportune 
moment to supply a lack in the lan- 
guage» and, having proved its useful- 
nesSy it is likely to win a permanent 
position — ^just as many other expressions of 
similar origin have done, whose dignified 
place in the language is now above question. 
The word was first used to imitate the sound 
of an explosion, then it came to mean an ex- 
plosion, and in the later 7o*s it began to be 
used to describe any state of sudden and ex- 
traordinary activity in a business or, more 
often, in a town. It superseded the word 
"bubble," which had done service since the 
da3'^s of John Law. 

While there is no other expression in the 
language that is available to describe the pe- 
culiar phenomenon that took place in Los 
Angeles and Southern California in the years 
from 1885 to 1888, still there is a secondary 
meaning to "boom" that does not apply to 
the case of Los Angeles city. The word car- 
ries with it inevitably a conception of some 
form of utter collapse that must follow. An 
explosion is supposed to leave ruin in its 
wake. No such catastrophe occurred in the 

The Epoch o/th* Boom. 323 

case of Los Angeles. There was a cessation of 
the unnatural activity, but no general disaster 
and no permanent injury to the city. Eastern 
people frequently ask the question: "Has Los 
Angeles recovered from its boom yet?" as 
though the event had been something in the 
nature of a misfortune or a disease. There 
were many residents of the city who, during 
the boom and immediately afterward, were dis- 
posed to take this same view of it; but now, 
fourteen years after the close of the affair, they 
are able to see it in a better perspective, balanc- 
ing the smalt amount of evil it wrought against 
the large amount of good, and they generally 
admit that the violent shaking up was just 
what was needed to bring the old pueblo out 
of its natural lethargy, and to recognize it as 
a vigorous, progressive and thoroughly Amer- 
ican city. 

There were two distinct phases of the 
boom — the first a development and the second 
a craze. The whole movement had its origin 
in a sudden influx of population brought on by 
a railway war. The arrival of great numbers 
of people of a good, industrial class, most ol 
them provided with some money for invest- 
ment, naturally led to a rapid increase in real 
estate values, and stimulated building and the 
general development of the resources of the 
country. Thus far the activity was legitimate 
and wholly beneficial. Had the changes been 
proportioned on a moderate scale, or had they 

324 History of Lot AwgtUt. 

come with reasonable speed, all might bare 
gone well to the very end, without even indi- 
vidual misfortune to cloud the record. But 
the change was neither moderate nor gradual 
—it was enormous, and it came with lightning 
rapidity. Men became dazed and sta^ered at 
the sight and many of them completely lost 
their bearings. They saw improbable things 
happening, and they went on to expect the 
impossible. A few of the older residents of 
the town were bitten with the madness, but 
it affected, for the most part, only the new- 
comers. While few men of real wealth or of 
large business experience were seriously 
attacked, it took entire possession of many 
that were of small or imaginary means. This 
was the secondary phase of the boom — its 
most interesting and picturesque chapter, 
perhaps, but not the one that bears on the 
real history of the city. 

When the Southern Pacific railway was 
completed into Los Angeles, that city had its 
first transcontinental line to the eastern 
states ; when the Southern Pacific was com- 
pleted through to Yuma, where it met the 
Texas Pacific, I^os Angeles had its second line 
to the east. Trains over this new connection 
began running in 1883, and great things were 
expected to follow. There was a feeling that 
the southern line belonged to Los Angeles, as 
the northern belonged to San Francisco: and 
that one would develop the southern city as 

Tkt Epoch of the Boom. 325 

the other had the northern. During the first 
year of the decade of the 8o's there was some 
increase of population and considerable de- 
velopment of the farming country tributary to 
Los Angeles, but the rate of increase was no 
greater than it had been in the preceding de- 
cade. The Nadeau was built in 1882, the tall- 
est and most pretentious structure in the city, 
but its location on First and Spring was con- 
sidered too far out of town to make it desir- 
able for hotel purposes, and it was rented for 
offices and apartments. In 1883 the stores 
began to creep along Spring street to Second, 
and a few went beyond, among the residences. 
By 1884 business had become fairly brisk, but 
there was no such influx of new people as had 
been expected from the building of the sec- 
ond railway. The passenger fare one way 
from the Mississippi river country was still in 
the vicinity of $100, with the round trip at 
$150. In 1885 the round-trip fell to $125, and, 
early in 1886 to $100. The "personally con- 
ducted" excursion began to be popular — 
trainloads made up in eastern cities and taken 
through Los Angeles, San Diego, San Fran- 
cisco and the northern points of interest. 

In November of 1885 the Atchison, Topeka 
and Santa Fe company completed its line 
through the Cajon, and began to operate in- 
dependently of the Southern Pacific. This is 
the date usually given for the beginning of 
the boom. The Santa Pe road began to ad- 

3K History of Lm AngtUt. 

veitise their new territory, and the Southern 
PaciSc, which thus far had not given it spe- 
cial attention, presently followed suit. The 
display of Southern California oranges at the 
Cotton Exposition in New Orleans in 1884 
took the premium over Florida fruit, which 
was an eye-opener to many Califomians, as 
well as to easterners, and a great planting of 
citrus trees began. In 1886 the shipments of 
fruit to the east amounted to 150,000 boxes, 
which would be a little over 400 cars, as or- 
anges are now measured, or 500 carloads in 
those days. 

Through the winter of 1885-86 the country 
was filled with tourists as it had never been 
before, and among them were many who de- 
cided to remain and make their homes in Los 
Angeles. This was the beginning of a new 
element in the population of the city, and one 
that was destined to play an important part 
in its sudden advance. These people had 
come heretofore as isolated specimens, so to 
speak, but now they came as a class — people 
of means, who sought a place to live where 
they could be free from the incessant struggle 
with the elements. Frequently there was 
some member of the family who was in feeble 
health, or who showed a tendency to con- 
sumption. These newcomers bought property 
on the hills, or to the southwest of the city, 
paying prices which seemed preposterous to 
the old-timers who had seen those dry acres 

The Epoch of the Boom. 327 

go a-be^ng; and they built pretty homes 
and planted shade trees and rose gardens and 

The possibilities of Southern California as 
a health resort had been heralded by many 
newspaper correspondents and magazine 
writers who had visited the country; and a 
book published by the Harpers early in the 
70's, written by Charles NordhofF, set forth in 
glowing terms the benefit that the mild cli- 
mate wrought in cases of consumption. This 
volume had a wide circulation all through the 
Eastern states, and many thousand people af- 
fiicted with that disease were brought to Los 
Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego in 
consequence. Most of these were far ad- 
vanced toward death. The country was ill- 
provided with hospitals, and its hotels were 
crude affairs, without heated rooms or other 
comforts. The invalids who were too far gone 
for recovery died, but those with whom the 
disease had merely secured a foothold were, 
as a rule, saved, and they wrote home advis- 
ing others situated as they had been to come 
to Southern California. 

In constructing its various lines through 
Southern California the Santa Fe company 
had come into the ownership of considerable 
land, and it was interested — and so were some 
of its leading officials — in many townsites and 
development enterprises along the route. It 
was therefore desirous of bringing immigrants 

338 HUtory ^ La$ Amgtlu. 

into the countrr. The settlement of the va- 
cant lands was needed to produce freight 
along the line, where there was as yet almost 
no business to be had. The policy of the com- 
pany was to put passenger rates as low as 
practicable, and war between it and the 
Southern Pacific was not long in banning. 
Through 1886 the rates fell constantly, until 
they reached $25 for one way, around which 
figure they hovered for nearly a year, and 
for a short time they went down to $S, and 
for one day to $1. In 1887 they began to go 
up again, and in 1888 the war gradually died 
out, and the modern rates were established. 

In the months when the low rates pre- 
vailed, a great flood of people poured through 
Southern California. The passenger capacity 
of the railroads was stretched to the utmost, 
regular trains being divided into numerous 
sections, and special excursions running in at 
the rate of three to five a day. Hotels and 
boarding houses filled to overflowing, and the 
demand for houses to rent was far in advance 
of the supply, Los Angeles was the center of 
this new activity, and the price of city proper- 
ty began to go up with great swiftness. Prior 
to the boom the best business property was 
not valued over $300 per front foot. A good 
residence lot could be had for from $400 to 
$600, although in a few favored sections it 
might cost $rooo. Within a space of three 
years there was an average permanent ad- 

The Epoch of the Boom. 329 

vance of about 300 per cent. Many blocks 
changed suddenly from residence to business, 
and others adjoining them began to have a 
speculative value as future business property. 
Thousands of acres of farms within the city 
limits were laid out in residence tracts, and 
sold off to people that proposed to make Los 
Angeles their home. In the beginning such 
lots were to be had at $200 to $300, which 
yielded a handsome profit to the owner, as he 
got five city lots out of an acre of ground that 
cost him originally perhaps $50. The possi- 
bilities involved in the subdivision of farming 
land into residence lots presently began to 
dawn on the owners of the outer city prop 
erty, but, although large tracts were thrown 
on the market, the increase of population was 
so rapid that the prices steadily advanced. 

In addition to the tourists and settlers, 
the cheap excursions brought another class, 
to wit, the speculators. Some of these were 
genuine real estate operators, who had the 
capital to make improvements in their pur- 
chases, always, however, with a view to re- 
tailing at a profit ; others — and they consti- 
tuted the greater number — were entirely im- 
pecunious, but possessed of unlimited assur- 
ance, and they had acquired more or less ex- 
perience through the booming of other towns. 
Many of these came from Kansas and Iowa, 
where booms had been in progress for several 
years ; and the tactics that had been used with 


?30 HUiory of Las Angeles* 

success in the middle west were now employed 
on the Pacific coast. These were the men 
who committed, or were the cause of, most of 
the follies and the frauds of the boom. Few 
of them achieved any permanent success. The 
great majority left the city when the episode 
was over, and are now utterly lost to view. 

The opportunity for speculation within the 
city limits was limited, and there was too 
much that was solid and tangible in the ac- 
tual advance of values to make the field at- 
tractive to the imaginative promoter. The 
real absurdities of the boom were not perpe- 
trated in Los Angeles city property, which 
advanced for the most part in a steady, even 
ratio and did not fall back perceptibly when 
the influx of new people was checked. One 
evidence of this shows in the assessment of 
the years during and after the boom. In 1886, 
before the advance had well begun, the 
city was assessed at $18,000,000. In i9&7 it 
rose to $28,000,000. In 1888 it was $39,000,- 
000, in 1889, $46,000,000. By this time the 
boom was at an end, but the next year the 
city showed $49,000,000. In 1891 it was $46,- 
000,000. A variation of 6 per cent, which is 
all that shows between the heights of the 
boom and the lowest year following it, may 
safely be attributed to a change of assessors. 
Such variations frequently occur. The ad- 
vance of values halted for a few years, but 
there was no "reaction" or falling back. 

But the county outside of the city shows a 

The Epoch of the Boom. 331 

different side to the story. Here, and in 
Southern California generally, was where the 
professional operator and the crazy, irre- 
sponsible "boomer" held full sway. Farm 
property which had been worth $20 or $30 an 
acre, and which under favorable conditions of 
improved railway connection and a larger 
home market might be worth $100 an acre, 
was exploited as orange land that would yield 
$1000 an acre per annum in that fruit, and was 
sold at from $300 to $500. Some of it was cut 
up into "choice villa" tracts, and, with some 
trifling improvements, and a good deal of 
boasting about its "view," was sold at $800 to 
$1000 an acre. But the promoter's swiftest 
road to fortune lay in the townsite. From 
Los Angeles city to the San Bernardii^ coun- 
ty line is thirty— six miles, and in this distance 
twenty-five townsites were laid out. As they 
averaged over a mile square, it may be said 
that the entire distance was one continuous 
townsite. It was much the same with other 
roads, and branches of roads, and projected 
roads. A few of these towns were bona fide 
railway stations, or farming district centers, 
where there was a bare possibility of a moder- 
ate growth with some small value to the in- 
side lots, but in the great majority of cases 
they were mere paper towns whose lots pos- 
sessed no value whatever. The assessment 
figures for the county outside the city show 
what was happening in those years of folly. 
In 1836, $32,000,000; in 1887 it nearly doubled. 

tf-r - I V ^mmm^mfjaam 

332 //istory of Los AmgHes, 

$62,000,000 ; the next year ^^ficofioo. Then 
came the awakening; in 1889 it was $47,000^ 
000, and in 1890 it fell clear back to a figure 
below that with which the boom bad started, 
$20,000,000. Here was where the only reac- 
tion from the boom was to be found. 

The money lost in this change of values — 
which was not as much as it might seem from 
these figures— came chiefly from inexperi- 
enced people of limited means, of whom some 
had just come to the country to settle, and 
were talked into foolish investments, and 
others were merely passing through the region 
as tourists, and thought to profit in a little 
speculation. Incredible as it may seem, the 
lots in the silly towns were nearly all sold. 
CJne scoundrel disposed of $50,000 worth of 
lots in towns located on the top of the moun- 
tains where in all probability no human foot 
will ever tread. Many Los Angeles people 
were tempted into unwise speculations, but 
few of them were permanently injured in the 
affair. Enormous amounts of money changed 
hands. The recorded real estate transfers of 
1887 agj^regated $100,000,000, and probably 
not more than half the operations of the year 
were ever entered up. There is no real estate 
boom in history that is to be compared with 
this, either in gross magnitude or in sudden 
contrasts of values. We have noted in vari- 
ous other instances that when Los Angeles 
has undertaken to accomplish a thing, it has 
done the work very thoroughly. 




E boom folly touched high-water 
mark in the summer of 1887, 2i^d it 
came to a sudden end late in the fall 
of that same year. Some of the real 
estate brokers of that period claim to 
be able to locate the exact day and almost the 
hour when the tide turned, and eagerness to 
buy was suddenly replaced by a wild frenzy 
to sell at any price. There was, however, no 
single event that formed the dividing line be- 
tween the rise and the fall. During the latter 
months of the boom time, the banks of Los 
Angeles, which had — let it be recorded to 
their credit — exercised great caution through 
the whole episode, began to refuse to loan 
money on property outside the city, no mat- 
ter what its supposed value, and to use as 
their basis of valuation for city property its 
price before the boom. Presently it became 
almost impossible to obtain money from the 
banks for real estate transactions of any kind. 
There was no combination among them, but 
the leading financier of the city, Mr. I. W. 
Hellman, marked out an ultra conservative 
policy for the bank over which he presided, 
and the others were entirely willing to follow 
his lead. Perhaps this of itself and alone 

334 History of Los Angsts. 

might not have sufficed to smash the boom; 
but as the winter months appniached, and the 
crowd of easterners that was t-xpected failed 
to appear, the courage of those who had been 
holding up the market began to ebb, and they 
started out quietly to unload. In a short time 
everybody was unloading, and then there was 
no more boom. 

The non-appearance of the eastern tourists, 
who had for three years filled the hotels to 
overflowing, was a matter of profound aston- 
ishment to the Southern Californians. The 
latter had made great preparation for the en- 
tertainment of their guests by constructing a 
number of huge wooden hotels in inaccessible 
places all over the region. Finally it began to 
dawn on the people of Los Angeles that cli- 
mate alone would not permanently attract 
people of the tourist class. The entertain- 
ment of guests is a business that must be 
practiced with shrewdness and diligence. The 
first essential is good hotels, of which South- 
ern California had none at that time. Other 
essentials are facilities for pleasant traveling 
about and opportunity for sport and entertain- 
ment. Now Southern California at the time 
of the boom was not a pleasant place to visit, 
although the boom itself was a cnriosity well 
worth seeing. The climate was on its best be- 
havior during the winters of 1886-87 ^"d 1887- 
88, and the weather was perfect, but that was 
about all there was to be said in favor of the 

The Reorganization. 335 

country. Tourists are, for the most part, peo- 
ple of wealth, and it is their happy privilege 
to indulge in fads, which they may change as 
often as they choose. Southern California was 
for two seasons a fad. The moment it became 
common, and "everybody" was going there, it 
was dropped and forgotten. Not until nearly 
ten years later did the tourists begin to come 
again in large crowds. At the present time 
their number is probably several times as 
great as that of the liveliest year of the boom. 
There were, however, others besides tour- 
ists who had been coming to Los Angeles. 
These were the people that proposed to make 
their homes in Southern California. The fail- 
ure of the real estate boom was not a matter 
that concerned them very deeply. They were 
attracted by the climate or by the horticul- 
tural possibilities of the region. The south- 
ern counties had a population of 64,000 in 
1880, which by 1890 had increased to 201,000. 
Here were 137,000 new people, mostly from 
the states of the middle west, full of energy 
and courage, and entirely equal to the task 
of conquering the arid wilderness. Irrigation 
systems were established, and hundreds of 
thousands of fertile acres set to trees. By 
1890 the citrus fruit crop had grown to nearly 
a million boxes, yielding the growers over a 
dollar a box on the tree. Deciduous fruits, 
nuts, olives, wine and raisin grapes were 
planted, the area in wheat and barley in- 

336 History of Los Ang^Us. 

creased greatly, small fruits were grown and 
canneries started up, and presently a beet su- 
gar factory began operations on a large scale. 
Of all this farming country, Los Angeles was 
the commercial center and the chief depot of 

Los Angeles had now suddenly changed 
from a very old city to a very young one. Its 
population in 1880 was 11,000 and in 1890 was 
50,000. Of this latter number, it may safely 
be estimated that more than three-fourths had 
not been living in the city more than four 
years. People who had come to Los Angeles 
in the 70*8, and had been accustomed to re- 
gard themselves as new-comers, suddenly dis- 
covered that they were in the class of old set- 
tlers, and that they and others of earlier 
epochs had shrunk to an insignificant minor- 
ity. Just as the Spaniards had wrenched the 
country away from the aboriginal tribes, and 
as the first Americans had succeeded in shoul- 
dering the Californians out of the control of 
affairs, so now this overwhelming horde of 
new arrivals took possession of the land, and 
proceeded to make things over to their own 
tastes. There was some confusion at first, 
but in a surprisingly short space of time a re- 
adjustment was effected, with the new-comers 
very completely in the saddle. Their pur- 
chases of business and residence property 
were largely to the southwest of the center 
of the city, and a great building activity be- 

The Reorganization, 337 

gan in that direction. When the boom was 
coming to an end, the paving of streets was 
begun; for up to that time the business por- 
tion was deep in mud through the winter 
months and in dust through the summer. 
There had been a small sewer system which 
did not extend beyond Fifth street. It was 
first extended piece by piece over the business 
district, and out to Tenth street, and then by 
a huge bond issue it was made to take in near 
ly the whole of the residence section as well. 
The new city hall on Broadway and the court- 
house on the hill were both begun just at the 
close of the boom, and a few years later the 
federal building was constructed. 

Up to 1888 the street car system of the 
city consisted of a few decrepit horse cars on 
rather rickety tramways. In that year a con- 
solidation of most of the independent sys- 
tems was effected, and work was begun on 
the construction of a cable plant with three 
large power houses. In 1890 an electric sys- 
tem was built, which was finally consolidated 
with the cable and all put under electricity. 
The last horse car disappeared from the city 
in 1897, when the Main street line, which had 
not been part of the consolidation, adopted 
the new power. In 1898 the syndicate that 
controls the street car systems of San Fran- 
cisco purchased the Los Angeles lines, with 
the exception of the system owned by W. S. 
Hook and the Temple street line, and made 

3aB Hisiory of Las AmgeUs. 

many improvements. The city at present en- 
joys the privilege of genuine street car com- 
petition, and its residence section is thor- 
oughly covered with branch lines, both sys- 
tems being admirably managed. 

In 1888 the people of Lx>s Angeles became 
much elated at the prospect of securing a new 
transcontinental line to the east through Salt 
Lake City. A franchise was secured for a 
railway to run along the east bank of the river, 
which, it was announced, was to provide the 
Union Pacific with terminal facilities, it be- 
ing the intention of that road to build across 
Nevada to Los Angeles. The line from Salt 
Lake City was begun and carried through 
Utah, but a change occurring in the manage- 
ment and policy of the Union Pacific, the 
plan was abandoned and the hope of a Salt 
Lake connection was deferred for twelve 
years. The franchise for a road along the 
east bank was taken up by a party of St. Louis 
capitalists, who built a system running from 
Pasadena and Glendale through the city to 
San Pedro, which they called the Terminal. 
This system was sold in 1900 to Senator W. 
A. Clark, who is now constructing the line 
from Salt Lake to Los Angeles. It is be- 
lieved that the connection will be established 
within two years of the present writing 

During and immediately after the time of 
the boom, numerous branch lines were con- 

The Reorganization. 339 

structed by the Santa Fe and Southern Pa- 
cific throughout the whole region of South- 
ern California. Most important of these were 
the direct line to San Diego along the coast, 
which was completed by the Santa Fe in 1891, 
and the line to Santa Barbara of the Southern 
Pacific, which was built in 1887. The latter 
has since been made part of a through line 
by the coast connecting San Francisco and 
Los Angeles. Both these two transcontinen- 
tal systems' which, before the boom, were 
housed in Los Angeles in wretched little 
sheds, are now provided with large, well built 
depots; that of the Southern Pacific was built 
in 1888, and that of the Santa Fe in 1893. 

Thus the material welfare of the city, from 
whatever point it is examined, will be found 
to have greatly benefited through the boom. 
On the social and moral side, however, there 
was at first the appearance oiE a decided loss. 
Among the new people who came to the city 
during the height of the boom, the speculative 
and adventurous class, while not in the ma- 
jority perhaps as far as numbers went, were 
always the most conspicuous. They lost no 
time in asserting themselves in all public and 
social matters, and for a time something like 
anarchy prevailed. Here were 40,000 or 50,- 
000 people suddenly gathered together from 
all parts of the Union, in utter ignorance of 
one another's previous history. A great 
amount of money was passing rapidly from 

MO Hillary ^ Ln AmgtUu 

hand to hand, and a great citj was in emhnrOL 
It was the go]4tn opporttinitj of tbc bkir and 
humbug and the man with the post that he 
M minted forgotten. The native Califomian 
and the early pioneer were hospitable, large 
hcrart^d and unsuspicious. Thcj were for a 
time easy prey, but having been repeatedly 
imposed up'in, they became doubtful of all 
rM-w-comerh, Commercial and social life in 
I^>H Angeles during the later 8o's was fnll 
of startling uncertainties. The man with 
whom you were doing btmness every day 
mii^ht be an ex-convict — or he might be one 
wf'om ihc stripes were destined to ornament 
vifiH iUnc in the future. The people who had 
lionj h\ flu: house across the street might be 
niarr n-t] —or they might have neglected that 
formality, owing to the existence of prior 
partnerships **bark east." A man who came 
within on*r vote of being elected chief of po- 
lirrr is now in the California penitentiary for 
life. Anotlicr, who was concerned in many 
of \h<; largest boom enterprises, has since 
serv<-'l two ])cnitentiary terms in other states. 
Another who was a bank president and the 
owner of a daily paper, recently fled out of 
tlie Union with the police at his heels. One 
who occupied a popular pulpit in Los An- 
jM'les during the boom has since become fam- 
<jus as a professional polygamist— confiding 
widows with money being his specialty. The 
list of swindlers, embezzlers and confidence 

The Reorganization, 341 

men of that period would be a long one, if 
anybody should undertake to set it forth in 

Immediately at the close of the boom the 
sifting out process began. The professional 
scalawags left of their own accord when the; 
field was found to be worked out. The un- 
professional ones were easily detected and 
disposed of. The adventurers and adventur- 
esses and the people with the scaly records 
met the usual fate of their kind — they be- 
trayed themselves and were found out. Grad- 
ually a new society was formed, a little colder 
and more discriminating, perhaps, than that 
of the first pioneers, but felicitous in its com- 
bination of the old and new elements. The 
morals of the city which had gone back a 
few degrees during the confusion of the boom 
were brought up to the standard of the best 
American cities. In 1889 the gambling houses 
were all closed, and a couple of years later a 
Sunday closing ordinance for saloons went 
into effect. Poker dens, where strangers were 
taken in and fleeced, continued for some 
years, but they are now so thoroughly under 
the ban that they are operated only with 
great secrecy and on a small scale. The Sun- 
day closing law was evaded for a time, but 
at present it is very thoroughly enforced. 
During the boom, when the city had a pop- 
ulation of 50,000, the county jail averaged 250 
to 300 occupants. Ten years later, with a 

342 History of Los Angeles. 

population twice as large, the jail averaged 
less than loo occupants — a most remarkable 

In the early 8o's the subject of state divis- 
ion was agitated anew, chiefly because the 
laws that dealt with riparian rights were 
suited to the needs of the miners of the north 
rather than to the irrigationists of the south. 
It was contended that the interests of the two 
sections of the state were so radically differ- 
ent that a separation must be effected. In 
1881 a mass meeting was held in Los Angeles 
at which a report was drawn up in the shape 
or a series of questions addressed to the leading 
attorneys of the city, asking them what steps 
were necessary to bring about the division. 
The reply, signed by eight attorneys, was to 
the effect that the action taken by the legisla- 
ture in 1859, followed as it was by the favor- 
able vote of the southern counties, was still 
in effect, and that the new territory could 
proceed to organize and ask for admission to 
the Union. A circular was then issued call- 
ing for delegates from each county to meet 
in convention at Los Angeles, September 8, 
1881. This gathering came together on the 
appointed date, all of the counties being rep- 
resented. Resolutions were passed favoring 
state division, but it was decided to take no 
active steps until the population of the new 
district was large enough to insure its recep- 
tion as a state. In 1888 the subject was again 

The Reorganization. 


called up in a mass meeting at Hazard's pa- 
vilion in Los Angeles, and General Vandever, 
who represented the -Sixth district in con- 
gress, introduced a bill attempting a division 
of the state. The meeting was slimly attend- 
ed, and little enthusiasm was shown. The 
Vandever bill was never reported back from 

September 5, 1881, the founding of the city 
was celebrated with a great procession which 
circled the plaza, much as the procession of 
De Neve had done 100 years before. The 
Sth was taken instead of the 4th through the 
error of a local historian. 

The mayors of the period from 1880 to 
1890 were: J. R. Toberman, 1879-1882; C. E. 
Thorn, 1883-4; E. F. Spence, 1885-6; W. H. 
Workman, 1887-8; John Bryson, four months 
in 1889; H. T. Hazard, 1889-1892. 








^E decade from 1890 to 1900 was one 
of steady, even growth and develop- 
ment for Los Angeles, the population 
increasing from 50,000 to 102,000, 
and the assessed valuation of prop- 
erty advancing from $50,000,000 to $70,000,- 
000. The wave of hard times which swept 
.over the Union in 1893-6 did not pass by Los 
^Angeles, but its ravages were not serious. 
One advantage that the city derives from its 
somewhat isolated position is that of com- 
parative independence in its commercial in- 
terests. Hard times affected the market value 
of some Southern California products and di- 
minished the amount of tourist travel; four 
banks in the city closed their doors in the 
panic of 1893, one of which failed disgrace- 
fully; another retired from business with 
honor and credit, and the other two soon re- 
sumed with new strength. There were sev- 
eral mercantile failures, none of them of any 
considerable size. For a time the city was 
'^ worried by the presence of a number of un- 
employed men, chiefly in the building trades. 
In 1895, in spite of the hard times, the build- 
ing permits had aggregated $5,000,000, and 
great numbers of workmen were attracted to 
the only city in the Union that seemed to be 

The Modem City. 345 

holding its own. The next year the permits 
fell to $2,700,000 and in 1898 they were only 
$2,100,000. As times were still bad all over 
the country, the men thus thrown out of em- 
ployment were unable to get away, and pro- 
vision had to be made for them. Ftmds were 
raised by public subscription, and the men V 
wc re put to work on the parks. Business gen- 
erally, however, held its own fairly well 
through this troublous time. In 1892, before 
the panic, the bank clearances for the year 
were $39,000,000. In 1893 they were $45,000,- 
000. In 1894 they were $44,000,000, in 1895, 
$57,000,000; in 1896, $61,000,000. This shows 
how the city continued to expand, in spite 
of the bad times. 

An important event in the industrial de- . 
velopment of the region was the establish- 
ment of the present chamber of commerce of 
I-os Angeles in 1888. This institution differs 
somewhat from those that bear a similar name 
in other cities, in the extent and variety of 
the work it undertakes. Its membership is 
not confined to men in active business, but 
includes all who are interested in the advance- 
ment of the city. It has 1000 members, and 
almost from its inception has been endowed, 
through the far-sighted liberality of the 
wealthy and progressive men of the city, with 
sufficient funds to carry on an active cam- 
paign of advertising and of local development. 
The chamber's first meetings were held in 

346 History of Los Angeles. 

the old board of trade building on First and 
Broadway, which has since been torn down. 
In 1889 a permanent exhibit of Southern Cal- 
itornia products was opened over the Mott 
market on Main street, between First and 
Second. In 1894 the organization moved to 
its present quarters at Fourth and Broadway, 
in a building designed especially for its use. 
i.ecently it purchased a piece of property on 
Broadway, between First and Second streets, 
where its permanent home will probably be 
erected during the coming vear. 

When the chamber of commerce began 
work, which was just at the close of the boom, 
the industrial conditions of the region were 
in very bad shape. The city had entirely out- 
grown the country ; the farming land had been 
overrun with townsites; much of it was in 
the hands of non-residents, who were holding 
it for speculation instead of for use; and so 
large a percentage of those actually engaged 
in husbandry were either ignorant of the 
whole art or were utterly inexperienced as 
to local conditions of soil and climate, that 
the results were far from satisfactory. A 
primary object of the chamber in the estab- 
lishment of the display of local products was 
to enable the farmers to compare their work 
and thus gain by one another's experience in 
this new strange country. For this same pur- 
pose citrus fairs were held during the years 
from 1890 to 1895. One of these fairs, that of 

Tht Modtm City. 347 

1891, was sent to Chicago and exhibited to an 
attendance of 120,000 people in the old expo- 
sition building on the lake front. These fairs 
and the display made at Chicago in the Co- 
lumbian exposition helped to stimulate orange 
culture, and to regulate and improve the in- 
dustry. Other lines of horticulture and of 
farming were encouraged and assisted, and at 
the end of a few years the industrial situation 
had been reorganized on a substantial basis. 
Manufacturing had begun in various lines 
that were aUied to the agricultural develop- 
ment — beet sugar, fruit canning and crystalliz- 
ing, making of pipe for irrigation, etc. 

A great amount of work was done by the 
chamber of commerce in making the possibil- 
ities of the Southern California region known 
in the eastern states with a view to attracting 
immigration; and the extraordinary increase 
in population during the decade from 1890 to 
1900, an increase that is still actively in prog- 
ress, shows how successfully the designs were 
carried out. This advertising was of all kinds, 
the distribution of printed matter, the use of 
space in magazines and newspapers, and. most 
important of all, the sending of large and 
striking exhibits to the great fairs of the coun- 
try. At the Columbian exposition in Chicago 
in 1893, the Midwinter fair in San Francisco 
in 1894, the Cotton expositon in Atlanta in 
1896, the Transmississippi exposition at Oma- 
ha in 1898 and the Pan-American at Buffalo 

348 History of Los AngeUs. 

in 1901, the chamber had independent exhib- 
its that attracted wide attention. It also par- 
ticipated on a smaller scale in numerous dis- 
plays in Europe and America. 

No new railways were constructed into 
Los Angeles during this period, but an event 
of great commercial significance was the be- 

finning of work on the deep-water harbor at 
an Pedro. As the original project for the 
improvement of the inner harbor for vessels 
of light draft drew toward its completion, ag- 
itation began for the construction of a seawall 
from Point Fermin out into the exterior bay, 
to protect an area which could be used as a 
harbor for the largest ocean going vessels. 
The total sum expended on the interior im- 
provement was about $900,000, and the depth 
of water attained would admit vessels draw- 
ing seventeen and eighteen feet. It was, and 
is, used chiefly for the lumber and coal trade 
of the coast, but was not practicable for the 
ocean commerce that was seeking outlet and 
inlet through this region. There being no 
deep-water harbor nearer than San Francisco 
on the north — 500 miles — and San Diego on 
the south — TOO miles — there was need of a 
harbor of refuge and a harbor of naval neces- 
sities at this point. The engineering author- 
ities of the government conceded the justice 
of the claim, and in 1891 a report was sub- 
mitted to congress by a board of army en- 
gineers appointed to examine the coast from 

Th€ Modem City. 349 

Orange county to Santa Barbara, with a view 
to determining the best point for the construc- 
tion of a harbor, and this report was une- 
quivocally in favor of San Pedro. 

In 1892 the first effort was made to secure 
an appropriation from congress to begin the. 
work, but it was defeated through the declara- 
tion of the chief engineer of the Southern Pa- 
cific that no harbor could ever be constructed 
at San Pedro. It was decided to appoint a 
special commission of five eminent army en- 
gineers to review the work of the first board 
and report on the comparative merits of Santa 
Monica, Redondo and San Pedro. This body 
visited the locality and made a thorough in- 
vestigation, and their report was in favor of 
San Pedro. But the Southern Pacific was 
still not satisfied, claiming that the war de- 
partment had favored San Pedro 'chiefly 
through a desire to be consistent. All efforts 
to secure an appropriation for that place were 
resisted, and for several years the commercial 
men of the city were divided into two camps, 
for Santa Monica with the Southern Pacific, 
and for San Pedro against the Southern Pa- 

Finally, in 1896, a bill was introduced in 
the house of representatives appropriating 
$2,900,000 for a deep-water harbor at Santa 
Monica. There was a general feeling among 
the people of Los Angeles that the interest of 
the Southern Pacific in the Santa Monica 

350 History of Los Angeles. 

project was because a harbor there would 
be exclusively controlled by that corporation, 
whereas a harbor at San Pedro would be 
open to competition. The Terminal road, 
which had extensive holdings at San Pedro, 
and the Santa Fe road, which was believed to 
be disinterested except in so far as the ques- 
tion of location might affect the general wel- 
fare of the region, were both determined in 
their opposition to the Santa Monica plan, as 
were also the two senators of the state and 
the congressman of the district. So many pro - 
tests from authoritative sources against the 
proposed improvement were forwarded to 
Washington, accompanied by demands that it 
be changed to San Pedro, that the item was 
struck out of the house bill, and Los Angeles 
was left, as in previous years, with no appro- 
priation for deep-water work. When the mat- 
ter came up in the senate, Stephen M. White, 
who was a resident of Los Angeles, and a 
member of the senate committee on commerce, 
demanded that the money be appropriated for 
San Pedro, and when that was refused, that 
the whole question of location be left to a 
third board of engineers, one of whom should 
be from the navy, one from the coast survey 
and the other three from civil life. The com- 
merce committee refused this compromise, 
and put back in the bill the appropriation for 
Santa Monica. The fight was then carried tu 
the floor of the senate, and at the end of a 

The Modem City, 351 

long struggle, Mr. White's plan was adopted. 
The new board reported in favor of San Pe- 
dro, and the work was begun in 1899, after 
two years of most extraordinary and unac- 
countable delay. 

When this work, which is the construction 
of a seawall 8500 feet long, is completed, Los 
Angeles will have at its ocean gateway a 
harbor that is admirably adapted for refuge 
and for most naval necessities, and is not with- 
out great value for commercial purposes; but 
to make it entirely serviceable for the latter 
it will be necessary to dredge out the inner 
harbor for several thousand feet along the 
docks. When that is done Los Angeles will 
possess one of the finest harbors in the coun- 
try, and will take its share of the Oriental com- 
merce that is destined to come to the Pacific 

The bank deposits of Los Angeles, which 
before the boom were $3,000,000 or $4,000,- 
000, rose during the boom to $12,000,000; for 
a brief time they fell back to $9,000,000, but 
since then the rise has been almost continuous, 
until now they aggregate about $25,000,000. 
Annual clearances are now 400 per cent larger 
than they were ten years ago, wliich is a strik- 
ing evidence of the growth of general business. 
The orange industry, which had its start in 
Hie orchard of William Wolf skill in Los An- 
geles in the 50's, has grown to mammoth pro- 
portions. To deliver the crop in the east a 

152 History of Los Angeles. 

trainload must start every hour of the work- 
ing day through more than half the year. The 
gross receipts in the eastern market aggregate 
about $15,000,000. The region covered by 
this industry extends from San Diego to Santa 
Barbara, but most of the area is commercially 
tributary to Los Angeles. The oil industry 
of Southern California also centers at Los An- 
geles, the product averaging three or four 
millions per annum, most of which is mined 
in the immediate vicinity of the city. In the 
years 1899 ^^^ ^9^^ ^^ Angeles passed 
through a veritable oil boom, with a vast 
amount of trading in securities of doubtful 
value. The sinking of many hundred wells 
stimulated manufacturing and business of all 
kinds, and although the first enthusiasm of 
the discovery has worn off, the industry is 
believed to be only in its beginning. 

The other principal sources of income to 
Los Angeles, besides the two mentioned 
above, arc : Its wholesale trade, which covers 
all Southern California, most of Ari^^ona and 
extends well into the San Joaquin valley, the 
miscellaneous products of surrounding farms, 
such as hay, grain, vegetables, fruits, etc., the 
local manufactures, which since oil has been 
supplied as a cheap fuel, have undergone a 
great increase, the expenditure of travelers, 
who are entertained by tens of thousands 
every winter, and lastly, a great amount of 
money brought in by the never-ending stream 

The Modem City. 353 

of new-comers. These are people whose pur- 
pose it is to make their homes in Los Angeles ; 
they buy property and build houses and put 
money into new enterprises for the develop- 
ment of the country. As long as the climate 
holds good, this source of supply seems likely 
to be limitless. It must be noted, moreover, 
that Los Angeles contains a large element of 
the retired class, whose incomes are spent in 
the city, but are derived from investments in 
the eastern states. 

In the midst of the boom Los Angeles 
adopted a new charter (1889), but the docu- 
ment was faulty in providing too many elec- 
tive offices and in failing to definitely locale 
responsibility. The city government, while 
far from bad, is by no means up to the stand- 
ard that the city is entitled to enjoy, consid- 
ering the unusual character of its population. 
There is no such percentage of foreign ele- 
ment as is to be found in most American cities, 
neither is there an illiterate or impoverished 
element. On the other hand, the exception- 
ally large proportion of people of comfortable 
means who have the time that they might 
devote to the duties of citizenship, gives an op- 
portunity such as few cities enjoy for a high 
quality of local government. Three attempts 
have been made to give the city a new and 
adequate charter, but all have been defeated. 

The mayors of the city during the latter 
period were: T. E. Rowan, 1892-4; Frank 
Rader, 1894-6; M. P. Snyder, 1896-8; Fred 


354 History of Los Angeles, 

Eaton, 1898-1900, and M. P. Snyder at the 
present time. On national and state issues tiie 
city is generally Republican, although througu 
a combination of silver Republicans and Dem- 
ocrats Mr. Bryan's forces carried the city in 
1896, while the county went the other way by 
a small majority. In 1900 both city and coun- 
ty went heavily Republican. In local elec- 
tions. Democrat and Republican alternate in 
the office of mayor, while the majority of the 
council is almost always Republican. 

At the present writing, the summer of 1901, 
the city is growing with greater rapidity than 
at any time in its history, if we except the one 
or two years of the boom, when it added a 
hundred per cent every few months. That 
the population of 100,000 in 1900 is compound- 
ing at the rate of 10 per cent per annum the 
school census shows clearly enough, and the 
increase of business is on even a greater ratio 
than that of population. The southwestern 
region of the United States will support at 
least one great city, and all doubt as to where 
that city will be located is now at an end. Tlu: 
little pueblo that Governor De Neve founded 
120 years ago, in order that grain for the army 
might be raised in California instead of im- 
ported from Mexico, has at last grown to be 
the active, prosperous city of his dreams. That 
it should some day become one of the great 
metropolitan centers of the nation is not a 
dream, but the natural outgrowth of existing 

1901 to 1911 

NOTE. — This history was written in 1901. As the demand 
seems to justify the issuing of a second edition in 1911, this 
brief chapter is added to bring the story down to date. 

Los Angeles began the twentieth century 
with a population of 102,479, and the census of 
1910 gave a total of 319,198. About 10 per cent 
of this gain had come through annexation of 
territory, the rest through direct increase. No 
American city, not even Chicago in its phen- 
ominal development from 1860 to 1870, could 
show such rapid growth; and yet it did not 
come with a rush in a year or two as it had in 
the epochs of "boom,*' but was distributed 
evenly through the whole period with a steady 
growth of business and a logical advance of 
realty values. Except for a few months at the 
end of 1908 and the beginning of 1909, the en- 
tire period was prosperous. Clearing house 
balances which in 1901 were less than a half a 
million a day, by 1911 were nearly three mil- 
lion a day. Bank deposits increased from 
$50,000,000 to $125,000,000. Building permits 
which in the year 1901 totaled $4,300,000. in 
1910 had grown to $21,000,000. The census of 
ISKX) gave the total value of the product of Los 
Angeles factories as $21,000,000, and that of 
1910 increased this to $85,000,000. The city 
now has 85,000 telephones as against 10,000 
when this book was written. The business of 
the post office which made a total of $312,524 
in 1901, was for the year 1910, $1,476,941. In 
this decade 75,000 buildings, big and little^ 

were constructed at a total cost of over $130,- 
000,000. That would make a good-sized city 
by itself. 

In 1902 M. P. Snyder was elected Mayor for 
the third time. At this election a number of 
charter amendments were offered to the people 
and most of them adopted. They made several 
important changes in the form of the city gov- 
ernment, transferring the executive functions 
from Council to Mayor, and granting the peo- 
ple the initiative, referendum and recall. The 
last was a new experiment in the science of 
government proposed by Dr. John R. Haynes. 
At that time it had never been tried any- 
where, so it is, in effect, a Los Angeles inven- 
tion. A civil service system was also adopted. 
These reforms marked the development of a 
strong civic spirit in Los Angeles. In 1901 
the Municipal League came into existence, and 
in 1906 the City Club. 

In 1904 Snyder ran once more for Mayor, 
but this time was defeated by Owen McAleer, 
Republican, who had made a record as Council- 
man opposing corporate aggression. In this 
election independent politics made its first suc- 
cessful appearance through the fight made by 
the Municipal League against a Street Super- 
intendent, who was defeated by a tremendous 
majority. Also the League backed a non- 
partisan School Board, and it was elected. 
Since that time Los Angeles has never had a 
political School Board. 

In 1905 the Owens River Aqueduct plan 

1!M)1 tn 1!)11 III 

was i)r<j[)f)sc(l and was readily accL'})tC(I hy the 
people. It called for bringing a supply of 250,- 
000,000 gallons of water a day 240 miles, from 
Inyo County, at a cost of $25,000,000. A bond 
issue of three million bought the necessary 
land and started the work, which was begun 
on a large scale with the voting by the people 
of the entire sum in 1907. The work is in 
charge of William Mulholland. It will be fin- 
ished in two years more, and with it will come 
the development of over 100,000 horsepower 
of electricity, which will light the city and 
supply cheap light and power to its people. 

In 1906 there was a hotly contested city elec- 
tion with four candidates in the field : Demo- 
cra.t, Arthur C. Harper; Non-Partisan, Lee C. 
Gates; Republican, Dr. Walter Lindley; and 
Union Labor, Stanley B. Wilson. Harper was 
elected, the others coming out in the order 
named. His term was for three years, as a 
charter amendment, adopted in 1904, had 
moved the city election over from the regular 
state and national election years to the non- 
political years. At the end of two years, how- 
ever, there was so much dissatisfaction with 
Mr. Harper's administration, particularly with 
respect to police matters and his appointments 
on the Board of Public Works, that it was 
decided by the Municipal League to undertake 
his recall. The necessary 10,000 signatures 
were secured in 10 days, but soon after the 
election was called, Mr. Harper abandoned the 
fight and resigned. W. D. Stephens was ap- 

IV Appendix 

pointed to fill the vacancy. At the election, 
which was held in April, 1909, George Alexan- 
der was chosen. In the fall of that year he 
was again elected Mayor, and is now serving 
with great success in spite of his seventy and 
more years. 

The spirit of non-partisanship and of opposi- 
tion to corporation rule in politics, which had 
grown strong and successful in Los Angeles, 
was presently communicated to the whole State, 
and in 1910 a political revolution took place 
and the Lincoln-Roosevelt League, or "reform 
crowd," captured the Legislature and the State 
administration. To this work Los Angeles 
contributed the chief leaders, notably Meyer 
Lissner, E. T. Earl, Marshall Stimson and E. 
A. Dickson. Frank P. Flint was succeeded as 
United States Senator by John D. Works of 
Los Angeles, and Representative James Ale- 
Lachlan was succeeded by \Vm. D. Stephens. 
A. J. Wallace was elected Lieutenant Gover- 

Important charter changes were effected in 
1909 and 1911. A non-partisan direct primary 
plan was adopted, and party names were dis- 
missed from the election ballot. The city's 
powers were extended to cover control of har- 
bor, the management of electric light and 
power, running municipal railways, publishing 
a city newspaper, etc. Height of buildings 
was limited to 150 feet; the ballot was short- 
ened ; Councilmen chosen at large instead of 
by wards; a public utilities commission and a 

1901 to 1911 V 

municipal art commission were created. The 
charter is now fairly progressive and up-to- 
date, and under it the city may enter upon 
many important municipal enterprises. 

Several annexations of territory to the city 
took place during this decade which doubled 
the area of the city. The most important of 
these were the Hollywood district, the shoe- 
string strip, connecting the city with the ocean 
to the south, and the ports of San Pedro and 

Los Angeles now has its harbor within its 
city limits. The work on the outside break- 
water, which began in 1899 with an appropria- 
tion of $3,000,000, was halted for a time by the 
failure of the contractors, but was finally com- 
pleted in 1910. The Government is now filling 
in the gap between the inner end of the wall 
and the shore, a distance of 1800 feet. Great 
development is in progress in the inner harbor 
all the way from Point Fermin to beyond Wil- 
mington, some by private interests, some by 
the national government, which is clearing the 
channels and dredging out the turning basin, 
and some by the city, which has voted $3,000,- 
000 in bonds for that purpose. The plan of 
improvement contemplated by the city calls for 
an expenditure of $10,000,000, and that of the 
general government, including fortifications 
and naval dry docks, as much more. The city's 
interest in this harbor is represented by a 
Harbor Commission, at the head of which is 
T. E. Gibbon, whose heroic work saved the har- 

VI Appendia 

bor from falling into the hands of the Southern 
Pacific as narrated in Chapter 33 of this volume. 

ITie Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles 
has grown in this decade from 1000 members 
to 3000, which makes it the largest organiza- 
tion of that type in the country. It is still in 
charge of Frank Wiggins as secretary, who is 
regarded as one of the most important factors 
in the development of Southern California. 

In 1901 Los Angeles County had less than 
200,000 population ; the census of 1910 gives it 
over half a million. The Southern Counties 
which are the tributary country of Los Angeles 
are all prosperous and increasing in population 
in almost the same ratio. Citrus fruits now 
make a total of 35,000 carloads a year. The 
total value of the products of the region is put 
at over two hundred millions by the Chamber 
of Commerce. 

A bond issue of Los Angeles County for $3,- 
500,000 for the construction of good roads, to- 
gether with the appropriation of $18,000,000 
by the state for the same purpose, will in a 
few years give all this region a splendid system 
of inter-communication. 

Several important changes took place in 
the newspaper field during this period. In 1904 
W. R. Hearst established a morning paper, 
"The Examiner,'* which has been built up to 
first-class standing in circulation and business. 
In 1906 an evening paper, the "News,'* was 
started by S. T. Clover, who had for a number 
of years edited the "Chicago Evening Post" 

1901 to 1911 Vn 

and afterwards the "Los Angeles Express." 
The "News" ran for about eighteen months, 
with an unusual reputation for literary and 
editorial excellence, but its attitude in opposi- 
tion to the Owens River enterprise crippled its 
business opportunity and finally caused its de- 
mise. The "Herald" in 1907 came under the 
management of T. E. Gibbon and became an 
active force in the community for civic ad- 
vancement. In 1901 Edwin T. Earl acquired 
the "Evening Express" and by the adoption of 
progressive policies and a fearless attitude on 
public issues, he has built the paper up to an 
enviable position of influence and business im- 
portance. October 1, 1910, the building occu- 
pied by the "Times" on the corner of First 
and Broadway, was blown up by dynamite, 
evidently placed with criminal intent. The 
building was immediately destroyed by fire 
and twenty-one employes perished. It seems 
evident at this writing that the dynamiting 
was done by individual labor unionists as part 
of an industrial war then in progress in Los 
Angeles and other Coast cities. Several ar- 
rests have been made by W. J. Burns, a de- 
tective of national reputation, who was em- 
ployed by the city government to investigate 
the affair, and the trial of these men will soon 
take place. 

The earthquake of April 18, 1906, which did 
so much damage in the northern part of the 
state, and caused the destruction of San Fran- 
cisco by fire, was not felt in Los Angeles, and 

Till Apptndia 

within a few liours of the event trainloads of 
supplies began to speed northward from the 
southern city for the relief of its northern 
neighbors. The Chamber of Commerce took 
charge of the work, which developed to large 
proportions, over $300,000 in cash and goods 
being subscribed in a few days. 

During this period Los Angeles was visited 
by three Presidents, McKinley, Roosevelt and 
Taft. Very like the visit of a President was 
the coming of Roosevelt in 1911 after his re- 
turn from Africa. 

A large project for the construction of 
boulevards, the widening of streets and the 
establishincut of a civic center was drawn up 
by City Arcliitect Charles Mulford Robinson 
for Los Angeles in 190", but little progress 
has thus far been made toward its accomplish- 
ment. The huge bond issues required for the 
aqueduct, electric plant and harbor, have com- 
pelled the city to exercise rigid economy in its 
expenditures, and the work of beautification 
has been perforce suspended until these various 
utilities are finished and have become product- 
ive. There is every reason to believe that ten 
years hence Los Angeles will have a much 
larger per capita earned income than any city 
in the union, and with the funds thus placed 
at its disposal, will be able to undertaice great 
enterprises for the comfort and enjoyment of 
its people. 

N D E X . 

Abila, Encamation 228 

Alarcon 21 

Alexander, D. W 167, 240, 296, 306 

Alexander, Kamon 297 

Alvarado, Javier 121 

Alvarado, Juan Bautista 142 to 145. 155, 169, 177, 234 

A Ivitre, Sebastian 97 

Ansa 61 

Arguello, Joae 97,98 

Argnello, Luis 134, 136, 138, 148, 212 

Arguello, Santiag'o 234 

AriEona 175, 190, 217, 248, 269, 352 

ArrillaKO, Joaquin de 117, 118, 124 

Avila, Joae Maria 140 

Ayuntamiento 134,237,238 

Baker, K. S 164 

Bandini, Arcadia 164 

Bandini, Juaa 139, 164, 212, 221, 234 

Banning, Phineaa 276, 296, 306, 317 

Barton. Sheriff 284,285 

Bear Flag Incident 198 to 201 

Beaudry, Prudent 308, 318, 320 

Boom Times 322 to 342 

Borica 104, 111, 112, 113, 129 

Bouchard 124,125 

Bouchette, Iiouis 165 

Boundaries of Los Angeles 70, 257, 267 

Bojle Heights 305 

Branciforte 60, 111, 112, 113, 117 

Bacareli 60 

Burnett, Peter H 256 

Buainess Blocks in Los Angeles 163. 165, 243, 283, 287, 
289, 291, 295, 305, 319 

Cabrillo, Juan Kodriguez 22, 24, 26 

Cahucnga 11, 44, 121, 145, 230, 266, 321 

356 Index* 


California....l9 to 21, 39, 62, 64, 66, 68 to 71, 87, 100, 102, 
106, 113, 114, 116, 125, 127, 131, 135 to 145, 
147, 152, 156 to 158, 160, 161, 190, 200, 207, 
212, 246 to 256, 300 

Catnbon S3, 75 

Camels for freighting 297 

Camino Real 105 

Cannon, The Historic 210 

Capital at Los Angeles 173, 174 

Carlos III 32, 59, 68 

Carpenter, Lemuel 166 

Carrillo, Carlos Antonio 144 

Carrillo, Dona Josefa 172 

Carrillo, Joaquin 172 

Carrillo, Jose Antonio. ...134, 139, 173, 214, 215, 229, 236, 


Carson, Kit 207, 217, 220 

Castro 195, 200 to 206 

Catalina 119,164,175, 302 

Cathedral 305 

Cattle Trade 185, 299, 303 

Cerritos Ranch 305 

Chamber of Commerce of I^os Angeles... 16, 316, 345 to 


Chapman, "El Ingles»» 56, 125, 158, 159, 160 

Childs, O.W 295 

Chico, Mariano 141, 142, 143 

Chinese Massacre 285 to 288 

Chinigchinich 12 

Chino, Battle of 209 

Chino Ranch 166 

Church of Our I^ady 78, 85, 132, 133, 159, 160, 172 

Clearwater 11 

Colonial System of Spain 57, 58, 113, 114, 135 

Colorado 248 

Colorado River 21, 61. 72, 73, 74 

Comisionado 84, 99, 121, 134 

Constitutional Convention 255 

Cooke, P. St. George 245, 236 

Confirmation Controversy 107, 108 

Coronel, A. F 244, 272, 293 

Index. 357 


Coronel, Ignacio 272 

Cortes, Hernando 19 to 21 

Cota, Guillermo 134, 135 

Crespi 43, 44, 47, 51 

Croix, Marques de 36 

Croix, Teodoro de 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 73, 93, 106, 108 

Dana, R. H 166 

Danube, Brig* 164 

Davidson, J. W 228, 241 

Dead Man's Island 210 

De Barri 61 

Del Valle, Ig^nacio 244 

Del Valle R F 244 

De Neve, Wupe !!!!1V46, 61, 62, 63^^^^ 69, 

70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76,80, 84, 86, 
100, 101, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 
111, 343, 354 

Division of State 300,342 

Domingfo, Juan 164 

Dominguez, Cristobal 86 

Domingiiez, Juan Jose 86, 115 

Dominguez Ranch Battle 211, 214 

Dominguez, Manuel 236 

Dominicans 33 

Downey, John G 295, 304, 306 

Drake, Sir Francis 19, 24, 25 

Dress of Californians 187, 188 

Drjden, Wm 298 

East Los Angeles 305, 318, 319 

Echeandia, Jose Maria 138, 139, 148, 149, 162 

El Clamor Publico 277 

Elysian Park 44, 263 

Encina Ranch 115 

Explosion in Guard House 242 to 244 

Fages, Pedro.. .40, 52, 54, 55, 60, 61, 74, 86, 97, 101, 107, 

109, 111, 114, 157, 158 

Farmers and Merchants Bank 210, 306 

FcUx, Vicente 97, 99, 100, 103 


158 fndejF, 

Ferguson, Jesse 162 

Pcrmin, Point 112,348 

Ferrelo 24 

Fig-ucroa, Jose 141, 146, 151 

Fitch, Henry 172,173 

Flaco, Juan 209 

Flag, First American 222 

Floods 132, 303 304 


Flugge, Chas 224 

Forster, Juan 167 

Fort Moore 228, 240, 241, 242, 266 

Foster, Stephen C...159, 238, 239, 241, 255, 274, 284, 293 

Founding of Iros Angeles 75 

Franciscans.. ..33, 34, 48, 59, 60, 61, 62, 67, 87 to 96, 109, 

110, 112, 131, 146 to 156 

Fremont, John C 194 to 200, 203. 206, 207, 216, 224, 

229 to 235, 256, 298 

Galvez, Jose de..36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 48, 50, 51, 52, 62, 64 

Garfias 212 244 

Gillespiei A. H..197, 206* to 211 , 214, 217, 218, 220, 227, 233 

Gilroy, John 158 

Gold, Discoveries 252, 253, 254, 296, 302 

Golden Hind 24 

Goller, John 294 

Griffin, John S 219, 220, 305, 308, 309 

Griffith Park 264 

Groningen, John 164 

Guinn, J. M, 241 and preface 

Gutierrez 142, 143 

Gwin, W. M 236, 256, 300 

Hale, Edward Everett 20 

Hanccck, Henry 293 

Hancock, W. S 301 

Hansen, Geo 305 

Hartnell, Wra. E. P 155 

Hayward, A. & Co., Bank ^. 306 

Hayes, Benjamin .' 244 

Hemp^rowing 119, 120 

Ind$x. 359 


Henley, Capt 222 

Herrcra 139 

Hotels in Lros Angeles 206, 297, 302, 305, 325 

Hunter, J.D 295 

Ide, Wm. B 199 

Indians ...9 to 17, 23, 42, 44, 47, 48, 49, 51, 54, 55, 62. 67, 
73, 89 to %, 102, 104, 107, 110, 120, 148 to 156, 
159, 664, 166, 177. 181, 183, 282, 283 
Iturbide 122, 125 

Jackson, Mrs. Helen Hunt 91 

James, Philip 158 

Jesuits 28, 33 

Johnson, Capt 218 

Johnson, Santiago 166 

Jones, Commodore 192, 194 

Jones, J. P 314 

Judges of the Plain 184 

Kearney, Stephen W 216 to 235, 247 

Kino 30,31 

Landmarks Club 88 

Land Titles 79, 80, 97, 114, 176, 182, 259, 260, 261, 262 

La Paz 20, 25, 39 

Larkin, Thos 194,234 

Las Sergasde Esplandian 19 

Lasuen, Fermin Francisco 112 

Laughlin, Richard 162 

Leandry, J. D 163 

Leese, Jacob P 166 

Lelia Byrd 118 

Loreto 36, 39, 43, 50, 51, 62, 68, 72, 82 

Los Angeles & Independence Ry 314 

Los Angeles County 244, 318, 331 

Los Angeles River 46, 64, 121, 132 

Los Diablos 169 

Los Nietos 141 

Lower Califc.nia 10, 30, 36, 61, 62, 70 

Lynchings 280, 284 




Marshall, John W 253 

Maria Juan 158 

Marsh, John 166, 167 

Mason, Col. R. B 234, 247, 250, 251, 252, 255 

Masonic Order 292 

Mayors of Los Angeles 293, 303, 320, 343, 354 

McKinley, Santiago 165 

McNamara, Eugene 205 

Melius, Henry 166, 293 

Mendell, G. H 317 

Mendoza 21 

Mervine 210 

Mexico 18, 66, 68, 70, 102, 106, 113, 114, 122 to 125, 

134 to 137, 144, 146, 147, 148, ISO, 151, 160, 
180, 181, 190, 200 

Micheltorena, Emanuel 145, 192, 193, 272 

Merinda, Antonio 82, 83 

Mission System 48, 51, 58, 59, 61, 62, 67, 73, 87 to 96, 

104, 107, 109, 110, 123, 131, 146 to 156, 170 

Moctezuma 169 

Monterey. .26, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 60, 62, 63, 65, 
66, 124, 129, 130, 138 to 143, 158, 173, 174, 192, 
193, 195. 196, 197, 200, 701, 202, 209, 212, 216, 
235 247 255 274 

Moore, Capt..'..^.. ..'... ....'.." 219,220,228,241 

Mormon Battalion 235, 236 

Moulton, Elijah 212 

Name of Los Angeles 168 

Nevada 248, 269 

New Albion 25 

New Mexico 217, 248 

** News'' 278. 280, 302 

Newspapers in Los Angeles 275 to 278, 280, 281, 284, 

290, 302, 319, 320 

Nieto, Manuel 114 

Nig^-er Alley 283, 286, 287 

NordholT, Chas 327 

Odd Fellows 292 

Oil Industry 352 

Index, 361 


Oranffes 165, 294, 304, 316, 326, 336, 351 

Ord, E. C. 264, 265, 266, 267 

Ortega 46, 125, 159 

Osborne, Dr 295 

Pacheco, Romualdo 140 

Palmer, F. M 16 

Palomares, Jose 134 

Palou 35, 43 

Pasadena 11, 47, 318, 338 

Pastoral Age 179 

Pattee, Sylvester and James 162 

Pena, Cosme 169, 177, 178 

Phillip n 25,28 

Pico, Andres 214, 217, 229, 277, 285 

Pico House 229, 260, 305 

Pico, Jesus 216, 229 

Pico, Pio...l39, 140, 145, 155, 172, 195, 201, 204, 205, 206, 


Pina, Maximo 130 

Pious Fund 31, 32, 151 

Plaza 44, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 84, 102, 132, 162 

Polk, President 195, 249, 250 

Pomona 313, 318 

Population of Lros Angeles.... 98, 102, 117, 126, 169, 270, 

299, 310, 336, 344, 354 

Porciuncula 46, 64 

Portola, Gaspar de 38, 39, 41, 43, 46, 48 to 52 

Potts, J. W 318 

Prentiss, Samuel 164 

Presidential Elections Vote. ..298, 300, 302, 303, 320, 354 

Prior, Nathaniel 162 

Protestant Churches in Los Angeles 289 to 291 

Prudhomme, Leon J 166 

Puebla, Mexico 168 

Pueblo System 57 to 60, 63, 64, 65, 67, 69, 70, 80, 97, 

100, 103, 112, 126, 153, 257 
Purisima 63, 87, 109, 110, HI, 131 

Ramona 91 

Rangers 284 

Index. 363 

San Luis Rey 88, 112, 235 

San Miguel, island 24 

San Mipiel 112 

San Fasqual 216, 220, 241 

San Pedro 10, 23, 105. 112, 118, 119, 160, 16«, 166, 

174, 175, 193, 203, 206, 210, 211, 215, 216, 
296, 297, 317. 338, 348, 349, 350 

San Pedro & Los Angeles Rj 306, 307, 308, 310 

San Rafael...., 154 

San Rafael Ranch 114 

San Salvador 24 

Banta Ana River 45, S3 

Santa Barbara.... 24, 60, 63, 76, 87, 88, 109, 110, 111, 125, 
139, 140, 158, 159, 212, 229, 327, 339, 

Banta Clara 62. 64, 201 

Santa Cniz 60, 111.202 

Santa Fd Ry 325,327.339,350 

Banta Maria 168 

SanU Monica 314, 349, 350 

Santiago, Felipe 158 

Sarria , t.,..147 

Schools in Los Angeles... 129, 130, 131, 272'to 274, 303,^- 

Scott, Thoa. A 311, 312 

Seabird 296 

Seen lari nation of Miasions 146 to 156 

Sepulveda 99, 260 

Berra. Junipero 34 to 52, 60 to 63, 87, 106 to 112 

Berrano, Francisco 100 

Settlers of Iwos Angele* 80 to 83, 85, 86, 98, 99, 128, 


Shipbuilding 160 

Shorb, J. DeBarth 316 

Shubrick, Commodore 234 

Sisters' Hospital 292 

Slave labor of Indians 120, 152, 153 

Bloat, Commodore 200 to 203 

Smith. Jedediah S 162 

Sola, Pablo Vicente dc 124, 125, 129, 133. 134 

Soledad Ill 


364 Index, 


Solis 139 

Somera 53, 75 

Sonoma 199, 202 

Southern Pacific Railway 270, 271, 324, 328, 339, 

349 350 

Spain 18. 25, 27, 29, 30, 45,* 57, 64, 67, 70, 74, 

106 to 125, 135, 146, 157, 179, 180 

Spanish- American character 183 

** Star " 275 to 277, 284, 291, 302 

Steams, Don Abel 139, 163, 164, 175, 177, 194, 239, 

240 253 255 293 

Stevenson, J. B '..236 to 240, 242,243, 251, 252 

St. Francis of Assisi 33, 34, 46 

Stockton, Commodore 19iS, 203, 204, 206, 207, 210, 

213, 215, 216, 217, 221, 223 
to 233 

Street cars 319, 337 

Streets of Los Ang^eles 9, 76 to 78, 80, 85, 103, 132, 

162, 164, 228, 260, 265, 266, 
267, 369, 274, 275, 283, 287, 
290. 293, 297, 298, 305, 306, 
319, 325, 337 
St. Vincent's College 292 

Telegraph to Los Angeles 302 

Temple and Workman Bank 306, 315, 319 

Temple, E. P. F .163, 167 

Temple, John 162, 163, 239, 293, 306, 315 

Terminal Ry 338,350 

Texas 191, 247, 269 

Texas Pacific Ry 311, 312, 324 

Thompson, Robert 287 

Tomlinson, J. L 296 

Treaty of Guadaloupe-Hidalgo 247, 249 

Trial by jury 251 

Turnverein 292 

Ugarte 31 

Ulloa 21 

Utah 248, 269 

Varela, Serbulo 208, 209 

Vallejo 199 

VanegaB.Jose 81,99, 100 

Vasquez, The Bandit 321 

Verduyo, Mariana 99, 114 

Victoria (boat) 24 

Victoria, Manuel 139, 140, 141, 150 

Vtgnes, Jean 165 

Villa, Victoria 168 

Viacaino, Sebastian 25, 26, 46 

Waldemar, A 293 

Warner, J. J 165, 166, 277 

Water System 121, 298, 308, 309 

White, Stephen M._ 350 

Williams, Juan Isaac 166 

Wilmington 10, 306,308 

Wilson, B. D 167, 209, 210, 215, 240, 244, 293 

Wolfskin, Wm 165, 294. 316, 351 

Woman's Gun 213,214,230 

Workman, Julian 224 

Workman, Wm 167 

Ximenes, Fortuno 20 

Yang-na 9, 17, 44. 46, 51, 164 

YerbaBuena 202,246 

Yorba, Antonio 114 

Zalvidea 159 

Zanja Madre 84 

Zamorano 140 

Zuniga, Jose 72 



The visitor to Lros Angeles who reads this volume, 
and who finds himself interested in the city's history, 
should not fail to visit the exhibit room of the Cham- 
ber of Commerce. In the gallery he will find the col- 
lection of Indian artifects made by Dr. F. M. Palmer. 
In a room of the gallery is the Coronel collection, 
which is an admirable exposition of early Spanish- 
American life. The interesting exhibit of the Pasa- 
dena Art L/oan Association will be found on the main 
floor of the Chamber. At the County Court House 
is the admirable collection of the L/OS Angeles His- 
torical Society. It is hoped that some time all these 
collections will be gathered into a fireproof library, 
museum and art building, a conspicuous lack at the 
present time in Los Angeles, that it remains for some 
wealthy man to fill. 

At the Court House may be seen two of the historic 
cannon, near the Broadway entrance ; the other two 
may be seen at the corner of Commercial and North 
Main streets. The Plaza should be visited, and the 
Church of Our Lady, facing the Plaza. 

The Missions of San Gabriel, San Fernando and 
San Juan Capistrano should be visited by the stranger 
who is interested in the city's history. He should, in 
conclusion, send a check for any sum from one dollar 
up to Mr. Chas. F. Lummis, the President of the 
Landmarks Club, the organization that is working 
to preserve the old mission buildings from utter ruin. 

H- -^ 




3 kXos OAO 3^^ 173 




(650) 723-9201 

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